China’s image is steadily improving on the world stage, with more developed countries recognizing its role in domestic and international affairs, according to a new survey.
On a scale of 1 to 10, the average approval rating for China’s image in the survey period, which covered 2016 and 2017, was 6.22 – up slightly from 6.2 in 2015. Italy’s perception of China rose by 0.5 points to 6.58, while that of Canada and the United Kingdom both rose by 0.4 points, reaching 5.79 and 6.14, respectively.
Those three developed countries saw the biggest improvement out of the 22 surveyed nations. More than 11,000 people participated in the survey, which was released on Friday. It was conducted by the China Foreign Languages Publishing Administration and Kantar Millward Brown, a global market research company.
Developed countries’ average approval rating for China has been growing faster than that of developing countries in the past three years, the survey found.
Survey participants ages 18- 35 have the most positive views on China’s role domestically and internationally. Those in this age group are also most likely to visit or study in China in the near future, the survey found.
“China’s overall global image is gradually improving under the leadership of President Xi Jinping,” said Wang Gangyi, the deputy director of the China Foreign Languages Publishing Administration.
Yu Yunquan, the deputy director at the administration’s Center for International Communication Studies, said China continues to be a driver of global economic growth, adding that around 33 percent of those interviewed said they expected China to become the world’s largest economy, a 9 percentage-point jump from 2015.
“There is much reason to believe that people would be confident in China’s ability to surpass the US and its overall economy,” said David Reibstein, a marketing professor at The Wharton School.
The survey also noted reoccurring issues. For example, more than 60 percent of those surveyed still worried about the quality of Chinese products – a figure that has not changed in the past five years.
Scott Kennedy, deputy director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said this particular survey stands out.
“If you look at other surveys, like Pew’s, there is a lot more anxiety in many countries about China’s rise than this survey suggests,” Kennedy said.
Cheng Manli, the president of the National Institute of Strategic Communication at Peking University, said product quality is important because it affects opinions of a country’s production and honesty.
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