Over half of Filipinos have ‘little trust’ in China—SWS
More than half of Filipinos have “little trust” in China, according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted as President Rodrigo Duterte sought to forge an alliance with the Asian powerhouse and veer away from the United States through a “recalibrated” foreign policy.
The third quarter poll, conducted from Sept. 24 to 27 and first published on BusinessWorld, yielded a “bad” -33 net trust in China, with 55 percent of Filipinos having “little trust,” 19 percent undecided, and 22 percent having “much trust.”
The latest result was down nine points and a grade from the “poor” -24 net trust recorded last June.
According to SWS, China’s net trust has been positive in only in seven out of 40 surveys they conducted since August 1994, plunging as low as a “bad” -46 in September last year.
Duterte is set to proceed to Beijing on Tuesday from Brunei Darussalam for a state visit. In his speech before leaving for Brunei on Sunday, Duterte said he was looking forward to renew ties of friendship and improve bilateral relations between the two countries amid a maritime dispute.
Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay on Monday said Duterte will most likely not bring up the South China Sea dispute in his visit.
The same SWS poll showed that the United States got the highest score among seven countries in the survey with a “very good” +66 net trust, but six points down from the “excellent” +72 recorded in June.
America’s net trust has reached as high as an excellent +82 in December 2013 and has been positive since the SWS surveyed the superpower in December 1994.
The US has been at the receiving end of Duterte’s expletive-laced tirades amid criticisms against the government’s relentless crackdown on narcotics.
Other countries included in the survey were Australia (+47), Japan (+34), Norway (+16), the Netherlands (+14), and Taiwan (+3).
The survey, which used face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide, has a ±3 percentage-point margin of error. CDG/rga
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