The Southwest Booster

Friends and foes: Most Canadians say Ottawa should approach China as ‘threat’ or ‘enemy’


In the aftermath of a Chinese test of Canadian airspace, and, alleged attempts of interferen­ce in the last two Canadian elections, there are few in this country willing to give the Chinese government in Beijing the benefit of the doubt when in comes to bilateral relations.

This, according to new data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute, which finds a majority of Canadians say their federal government should approach the Beijing regime either as a threat to its interests (40 per cent) or, worse, an enemy (22 per cent).

Among countries surveyed, only Russia generates a more hostile response. Three-quarters (72 per cent) say that country should be viewed as a threat or enemy in the wake of its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

It may be the case that the Russia-ukraine war, alongside recent developmen­ts in the Canada-china relationsh­ip, have affected Canadians’ worldview as they assess the internatio­nal arena.

Indeed, as Canadians appraisal of China remains at near record low – 12 per cent say they view the country favourably – positivity towards the United States has rebounded. Three-in-five (58 per cent)

Canadians have a positive impression of the U.S., only the second time since 2016 that country’s favourabil­ity has been that high. This is likely a feather in the cap of President Joe Biden, as he reportedly prepares for his first visit to Canada since a 2020 election victory.

And though two-in-five (39 per cent) are more negative in their assessment of Canada’s southern neighbour, the vast majority (73 per cent) of Canadians believe the U.S. should be viewed at least as a friend (25 per cent) if not as a valued ally (48 per cent).

More Key Findings:

- Three-in-five (60 per cent) past CPC voters say they view China “very unfavourab­ly.” Half (47 per cent) of past Liberal voters, and approachin­g twoin-five past NDP (37 per cent) and Bloc Québécois (36 per cent) voters say the same.

- Three-in-five (62 per cent) Canadians view Taiwan favourably, as the self-governing island continues to be a source of political tension for China.

The full poll can be viewed online at­ity-of-nations/

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