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China's image takes a battering as majority of

nations brand it a 'negative influence'


SCMP and RTHK present Hong Kong's Top Story 2014
Global views of China's influence have deteriorated sharply, according to a poll conducted for the BBC's World
Service, reaching their lowest level in years.
Analysts said the change reflected China's increasing positive and negative involvement in international affairs.

The 2013 Country Ratings Poll asked 26,299 people in 25 nations between December and April to rate 16
countries and the European Union on whether their influence in the world was "mostly positive" or "mostly
negative".
Views on China's influence dropped to the lowest level since the poll began in 2005, with positive views falling
eight points to 42 per cent and negative views rising eight points to 39 per cent.
China ranked ninth, behind the US. Of the 25 countries surveyed, 12 held positive views of China, 13 negative
views. China ranked fifth in the 2011-2012 poll.
Perceptions of China have deteriorated markedly within the EU, with the percentage of negative views highest in
France and second-highest in Spain. In both countries the negative response rose by 19 points in the latest
survey, to 68 per cent in France and 67 per cent in Spain.
Views from regions closer to China were not much better, with Australian views on China's influence plunging
dramatically. In the previous survey they were 61 per cent positive and 29 per cent negative but that swung
around to 36 per cent positive and 55 per cent negative in the latest survey.
The Japanese response was the most negative among the countries surveyed, with only 5 per cent holding
positive views against 64 per cent holding negative views.
In return, the country with the highest negative rating in China was Japan, with just 17 per cent of Chinese
holding positive views and 74 per cent viewing Japan negatively, up nine points.
China had one of the most negative attitudes towards the US, with only one in five Chinese respondents holding
a positive view, down nine points, and 57 per cent holding negative views.
Dr Lin Limin, from the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations in Beijing, said China's image
may have been affected by escalating disputes with neighbours and some negative images of rude Chinese
tourists and investors, but it was more a reflection of China's rising power.
"Like (the US) the No1 man, (China) being the No2 man will unavoidably be criticised, which means we are more
active in the international arena," Lin said.
Professor Qiao Mu , of Beijing Foreign Studies University, said the rating had put China in an "embarrassing"
position, compared to the nation's rising economic power and the national image it sought to project.
"It seems China is getting rich fast but its influence ranking is dropping dramatically," Qiao said. "China is
drawing more attention globally, for its increasing foreign aid and participation in international affairs, but now it
turns out that the values and the political system China holds are not accepted by the world."
The poll is conducted by GlobeScan, an international polling firm, and the Programme on International Policy
Attitudes at the University of Maryland.