Views of US lead­er­ship grow­ing more fa­vor­able

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By LIU CHANG in Wash­ing­ton changliu@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

In­ter­na­tional ap­proval of US lead­er­ship is in­creas­ing, re­vers­ing a fiveyear down­ward trend, ac­cord­ing to the fifth an­nual poll jointly con­ducted by Merid­ian In­ter­na­tional Cen­ter and Gallup. China’s opin­ion of the US’s job per­for­mance, how­ever, is drop­ping.

In­ter­na­tion­ally, 46 per­cent of res­i­dents viewed the US’s job per­for­mance fa­vor­ably in 2013, com­pared with 41 per­cent in 2012, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est U.S.-Global Lead­er­ship Project. US world ap­proval rat­ings had con­sis­tently de­clined since 2009.

Re­sults were helped by 45 per­cent of Asian res­i­dents giv­ing the US a thumbs-up, the high­est Gallup has mea­sured in the re­gion dur­ing ei­ther the Obama or the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tions. In China, 29 per­cent of res­i­dents ap­proved of the US lead­er­ship, down from 40 per­cent in 2008.

Gallup World Poll man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Jon Clifton told re­porters at the Gallup Build­ing in Wash­ing­ton on Thurs­day that the sur­vey sought to ask the world a sim­ple ques­tion: Do you ap­prove or dis­ap­prove of the US’s job per­for­mance?

The largest global pub­lic opin­ion study of per­cep­tions about US lead­er­ship, the re­port in­cluded data from 130 coun­tries and ar­eas that Gallup sur­veyed dur­ing the first year of Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s sec­ond term in 2013.

US global lead­er­ship rat­ings sagged at the end of Obama’s first term then re­cov­ered in 2013, de­spite clas­si­fied documents re­vealed by Ed­ward Snow­den, a for­mer em­ployee of the US Cen­tral In­tel­li­gence Agency and for­mer con­trac­tor for the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency, show­ing the govern­ment tracked cell phone calls and mon­i­tored the e-mail and In­ter­net traf­fic of Amer­i­cans and res­i­dents of for­eign coun­tries. The rev­e­la­tions jolted USRus­sia re­la­tions and aroused anger in Ger­many and other coun­tries.

The rel­a­tively high me­dian ap­proval rat­ing for the US in Asia may stem from the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s at­tempts to strengthen its al­liances and trade part­ner­ships through­out the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion, the re­port said. In Asia, the US’s 2013 ap­proval rat­ings rose in dou­ble dig­its in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myan­mar, and Pak­istan. By con­trast, res­i­dents in the Mid­dle East and parts of South Asia were more likely to dis­ap­prove rather than ap­prove the US’s lead­er­ship, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

The high­est ap­proval of US lead­er­ship in Asia in 2013 was Cam­bo­dia’s 67 per­cent.

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