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China - friend, foe or neither?

Latest update : 2008-08-01

A FRANCE 24 / International Herald Tribune survey reveals that residents of five major European countries and the USA consider China an economic threat. But opinion differs on the political stance to be adopted at the Olympic Games in August.

An economic rather than military threat


Over two-thirds of the French (68% of people surveyed) and Italian (69%), a large majority of Americans (60%) and Germans (52%), as well as half the Spanish, consider China to be an economic threat. In the UK, only 42% of the interviewees think China to be an economic danger.


Despite the general perception of China as an economic threat, 41% of Spanish interviewees are inclined to increase economic ties with the Asian superpower. American and Italian interviewees, on the other hand, are more favourable towards a decrease in economic relations (40% of Americans and 36% of Italians interviewed).


Many interviewees from European countries prefer maintaining the current economic status quo with China - a third of the people surveyed in France (37%), Germany (39%) and the UK (35%) want no change in the economic relationship.


On the military front, 32% of Americans consider the country as a military threat, while the majority of the French (56%), German (60%), Italian (58%), and Spanish (56%) think China to be neither an ally nor a threat to their countries.



Opinion divided on Olympics


Opinion tends to differ on the Olympic Games as well. A large number of Italians (49%), Spaniards (55%) and Americans (41%) have a positive opinion on the 2008 Olympic Games in China, whereas France and Germany are more skeptical, with 49% and 47% of those interviewed expressing a negative opinion about the event respectively.


Concerning China’s relations with Tibet, those interviewed are favourable to demonstrative action by the athletes rather than politicians. However, the French and the Germans are favourable to a boycott of the Olympic ceremonies (44% and 38% respectively), the British (30%) and the Italians (31%) support the move to a lesser degree. The Spaniards and the Americans prefer attending the Olympics without any protests or boycott (29% and 31% respectively).”


The poll was conducted online by Harris Interactive, in partnership with France 24 and The International Herald Tribune, among a total of 6,620 adults (aged 16-64) within France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain and the United-States; and adults (aged 18-64) in Italy, from 2nd to 14th July 2008. The data was weighted, where necessary, by age, gender, education, region and Internet usage to make it representative of the general population profile for each country. Propensity score weighting was applied to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.






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Date created : 2008-07-30