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Nations' leaderships rated in new poll

Updated: 2015-04-22 09:52
By DONG LESHUO in Washington (China Daily USA)

Majorities of residents in 22 countries approve of China's leadership. All of those countries,except for Pakistan and Tajikistan,are in Africa. Approval of China's leadership is highest in Mali, where 86 percent give Beijing the nod. Residents in 63 countries are more likely to approve than disapproveof China's leadership.

The data are drawnfrom the results of the 6th Annual US-Global Leadership survey, which was released by Gallup and Meridian International Center in Washington on Tuesday.

Residents in 136 countries or areas were asked to rate the leadership of the US, the European Union, Germany, Russia and China. Survey results are based on face-to-face and telephone interviews with approximately 1,000 adults, aged 15 and up, in each country or area, according to Jon Clifton, managing director of Gallup World Poll.

"Usually it's just about the US, now we've include other countries too," Ambassador Stuart W. Holliday, president and CEO of Meridian International Center, told China Daily.

"We live in a world where there are other important powers," he said. "We thought it would be interesting to compare how these countries are doing and how they are relative to each other - not as a competition, but more of a comparison."

The projecthas "tremendousvalue" in that it reflects how people around the world perceive other countries, according to Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, chair of Albright Stonebridge Group.

"One will mostly look at the difference between the US and Russia. The Russian leadership is popular at home, but not internationally. The US is the opposite - popular internationally but challenged at home," Holliday said.

There are many factors that affect people's perceptionsof a country.

There are the economics. "A country that is supporting the development of another country, investing, building its infrastructure" is likely to get a favorable public opinion from that country, according to Holliday.

"The (US) business community has long enjoyed the cooperation and some competition, as China is increasingly manufacturing and developing products and services," Holliday said.

Former US senator Richard G. Lugar, president of the Lugar Center, also thinksthe American business community certainly benefits from the developments in China. "The market is so large," he said.

Public diplomacy initiatives, like cultural activities, tourism, and educational exchanges, are also ways of generating interest and engagement in other countries.

"Public diplomacy will definitely help," said Holliday.

"It doesn't mean that could be changed magically, that one thing can change everything;but taken together, public diplomacy can make a big difference," he said.

"It always has something to do with getting more people to these countries and having them talk to each other."

Majorities in 28 countries disapprove of China's leadership. Most are Western countries, including Germany (78 percent) and the US (70 percent), but notably, Japan (67 percent) and the Philippines (64 percent) are on the list as well. Residents in 56 countries are more likely to disapprove than approve of China's leadership.

"When China becomes more powerful and more internationally present, there is always more visibility and more scrutiny as well," Holliday said.



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