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US viewed more positively as China sinks in approval, poll shows

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In a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Centre across 24 nations, the United States emerges with significantly higher favorability compared to China. The gap between these global perceptions has notably widened following the inauguration of US President Joe Biden.

According to the survey released on Monday, a median of 59 percent of respondents across the 24 countries expressed a positive view of the US, in stark contrast to only 28 percent who held a similar opinion about China.

The study unveiled a predominant preference for the US over China in 22 of the 24 countries surveyed. The exceptions were Kenya and Nigeria, where respondents favored China. Notably, significant margins in sentiment were observed in Japan, South Korea, and Poland, with over 70% favoring the US.

When analyzing public confidence in leadership, the poll revealed a stark divide. 54 percent of respondents expressed trust in President Biden’s decisions in global affairs, while only 19 percent conveyed the same confidence in Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Pew highlighted that public sentiment towards both nations experienced a decline in 2020 due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, sentiments towards the US notably improved following Biden’s assumption of office in the subsequent year.

The analysis underlined a historical fluctuation in opinions toward the US and China across different administrations. The report indicated that former US Presidents, Donald Trump and George W. Bush, experienced moments where certain nations favored China over the US, reflecting varying levels of confidence in leadership.

The report from Pew emphasized, “These contrasts in opinions of the American and Chinese leaders reflect a combination of waning attitudes toward Xi in high-income countries and increased confidence in Biden—especially when compared to his predecessor, Donald Trump. Throughout much of his presidency, Trump received lower ratings than Xi in many surveyed places.”

This fluctuation in global opinion was previously observed at the end of the Bush era in 2007, wherein limited confidence in then-President George W. Bush resulted in more favorable ratings for China’s then-President Hu Jintao in numerous nations.

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