China tops US in sur­vey on lead­er­ship

China Daily European Weekly - - CHINA NEWS - By CHEN WEIHUA chen­wei­hua@chi­

More peo­ple in the world ap­proved of China’s lead­er­ship than US lead­er­ship in 2017, ac­cord­ing to a Gallup poll re­leased on Jan 18.

The Gallup World Poll found the me­dian ap­proval of US lead­er­ship at 30 per­cent, trail­ing 31 per­cent for China.

The US ap­proval rat­ing hit an all­time low, down by 18 per­cent­age points from the 48 per­cent dur­ing for­mer pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s last year in of­fice and four points lower than the pre­vi­ous low of 34 per­cent dur­ing for­mer pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush’s last year in of­fice, Gallup said in a news re­lease on its web­site.

Dis­ap­proval of US lead­er­ship climbed. The 43 per­cent me­dian dis­ap­proval —15 per­cent­age points higher than the pre­vi­ous year — set a record as well, not only for the United States but for any other ma­jor global power that Gallup has asked about in the past decade.

Com­par­a­tively, China boasts an edge with its world­wide dis­ap­proval rat­ing of only 30 per­cent.

US lead­er­ship ap­proval rat­ings de­clined by 10 per­cent­age points or more in 65 of the 134 coun­tries and ar­eas in which the sur­vey was con­ducted. They de­clined the most among res­i­dents of al­lies and part­ners in the Amer­i­cas and Europe, ac­cord­ing to the poll con­ducted be­tween March and Novem­ber last year.

Com­par­a­tively, China per­formed bet­ter, with 28 per­cent ap­proval and 35 per­cent dis­ap­proval in the Amer­i­cas.

The ap­proval rat­ing of US lead­er­ship de­clined nearly as much in Europe as it did in the Amer­i­cas, to 25 per­cent. It de­clined sub­stan­tially in 21 out of the 28 cur­rent mem­bers of the Euro­pean Union.

China tied the US, with the same 25 per­cent ap­proval rat­ing in Europe. But China’s dis­ap­proval rat­ing there of 48 per­cent was lower than the 56 per­cent for the US.

The US also suf­fered a ma­jor drop in its lead­er­ship ap­proval in Asia.

Over­all, 30 per­cent of those sur­veyed in Asia ap­proved of US lead­er­ship, while 32 per­cent ap­proved of China’s lead­er­ship. The US dis­ap­proval rat­ing in the re­gion was 39 per­cent, while China’s was 31 per­cent.

Of the four coun­tries that were the fo­cus of the Gallup sur­vey, Ger­many was at the top, with an ap­proval rat­ing of 41 per­cent. Rus­sia’s was 27 per­cent.

The mar­gin of er­ror across the to­tal sam­ple ranged from plus or mi­nus 2 per­cent­age points to plus or mi­nus 5.1 points, Gallup said.

The Gallup re­sults were based on face-to-face and tele­phone in­ter­views with around 1,000 adults ages 15 and older in each of the coun­tries or ar­eas in­cluded in the sur­vey. Res­i­dents in 134 coun­tries or re­gions were asked to rate US, Ger­man and Rus­sian lead­er­ship, while res­i­dents in 135 coun­tries or re­gions were asked to rate the lead­er­ship of China, ac­cord­ing to Gallup.

In its anal­y­sis, the Gallup re­port crit­i­cized Trump for keep­ing his cam­paign prom­ise to put “Amer­ica First” in his for­eign pol­icy.

“In do­ing so, he walked away from key in­sti­tu­tions and al­liances in 2017 that he felt didn’t serve US in­ter­ests, in­clud­ing aban­don­ing the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship (TPP) trade deal and with­draw­ing from the global cli­mate agree­ment. He fur­ther ran­kled re­la­tions with neigh­bors Canada and Mex­ico, re­peat­edly threat­en­ing to ter­mi­nate the North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment (NAFTA), and in­sist­ing that Mex­ico would pay for a wall along their shared bor­der,” the re­port says.

The US gov­ern­ment re­ceived world­wide con­dem­na­tion in De­cem­ber for its recog­ni­tion of Jerusalem as Is­rael’s cap­i­tal. Its with­drawal from UNESCO and cut­ting of fund­ing to the United Na­tions also re­ceived neg­a­tive re­sponse in the global com­mu­nity.

Richard Haas, pres­i­dent of the Coun­cil on For­eign Re­la­tions, be­lieves the US global lead­er­ship has be­come worse for the most part. “The bot­tom line is that the United States has added a de­gree of un­re­li­a­bil­ity,” Haas said about Trump’s first year in of­fice in a CFR pod­cast on Jan 16.

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