4 of 5 Filipinos reject gov’t inaction on China isle-building

/ 07:23 AM July 16, 2018

Four of five Filipinos disapprove of the government’s policy of doing nothing about China’s intrusion on the West Philippine Sea, the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) poll showed.

The nationwide poll, taken on June 27-30, also found that the majority of the Filipinos had “little trust” in China.


Eighty-one percent of 1,200 adult respondents said it was not right to allow China to continue building artificial islands in the South China Sea and militarizing them.

Likewise, 80 percent said it was right for the government to strengthen its naval capabilities.


International help

Seventy-four percent said the government should bring the issue to international organizations, such as the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, for diplomatic and peaceful negotiations with China to settle the South China Sea dispute.

Seventy-three percent said it was all right to have direct, bilateral negotiations with China on the territorial dispute, while 68 percent said the government should ask other countries to mediate.

Awareness, knowledge level

The poll also found that 18 percent of respondents had much trust in China, 53 percent had little trust, and 27 percent undecided, to yield a net trust rating (trust minus little trust, correctly rounded) to a “bad” -35. It was a 42-point drop and two grades down from “neutral” +7 in March.

The poll also showed 81 percent were aware of the South China Sea dispute before the poll, while 19 percent learned about the row only during the interview.

Distrust in China tended to be higher among those with more knowledge about the dispute, the poll showed.


Net trust in China

Net trust in China was -41 among those with extensive knowledge, and -42 among those with adequate knowledge, compared with -33 among those with only a little knowledge, and -35 among those with very little knowledge of the dispute.

SWS considers a rating of +70 and above “excellent”; +50 to +69, “very good”; +30 to +49, “good”; +10 to +29, “moderate”; +9 to -9, “neutral”; -10 to -29, “poor”; -30 to -49, “bad”; -50 to
-69, “very bad”; -70 and below, “execrable.”

The poll used face-to-face interviews and had a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points.

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TAGS: China militarization, Maritime Dispute, South China Sea, SWS survey, West Philippine Sea
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