Abe, Modi get higher ratings than Xi in Asia-Pacific
WASHINGTON — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi are generally viewed positively across the Asia-Pacific, according to the Pew Research Center’s latest report on global attitudes.
In some places, confidence in China’s President Xi Jinping has also risen, most notably in the sub-Saharan African, Middle Eastern and North African countries.
This possibly reflects China’s economic investment footprint; 61 percent of those polled in Nigeria – one of China’s largest investment partners on the African continent – have a favorable view of Mr Xi.
Significant double-digit increases in confidence towards the Chinese leader since last year have occurred in Argentina, Mexico, Spain and Italy, the report said.
And when going back to 2014, Mr Xi fares even better, gaining 15 points or more in the Philippines, South Africa, Argentina, Mexico, Tunisia, Russia and Nigeria.
Yet, across all 34 countries surveyed for the report, the view of the Chinese leader is, on balance, still negative, with respondents in six Asia-Pacific countries surveyed showing less confidence in him than in Mr Abe or Mr Modi.
“A median of 45 percent say they lack confidence in him (President Xi) when it comes to world affairs, compared with a median of 29 percent who say they trust him to do the right thing,” the report said.
In the US, Canada and Western Europe, half or more of respondents in almost all countries say they have no confidence in President Xi. Six in 10 Canadians and half of Americans gave him negative marks.
In Western Europe, a median of 61 percent say they lack confidence in him. This includes majorities in France, Sweden, Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Only in Russia does Mr Xi get positive marks, with 59 percent voicing confidence in him.
In the six Asia-Pacific countries surveyed – India, Australia, Indonesia, South Korea, Japan and the Philippines – most have little confidence in Mr Xi when it comes to “world affairs”, the report said.
“Just 29 percent have confidence in him to do what is right, which falls far short of the ratings for Japan’s Abe or India’s Modi.
“And in the Philippines, Indonesia, India and South Korea, nearly equal numbers have confidence in North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as in Xi,” the report said.
Most Japanese (81 percent), South Koreans (74 percent) and Australians (54 percent) say they do not have confidence in Mr Xi.
South Korea stands out as one place where views of Mr Xi have decreased significantly in both the past year and the past five years.
Japanese confidence in Mr Xi has risen since 2014, but still, only 14 percent say they trust him to do what is right in world affairs.
Filipinos stand out for their enthusiasm towards Mr Xi, with 58 percent having confidence in the Chinese leader.
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