No Kidding

Trust in China has plummeted in recent years, poll of Australians says

And at the very same time trust in politicians went through the roof – not. This web page is loaded to the hilt with typical ABC bis. No wonder they have had their funding heavily slashed.

Chinese President Xi Jinping raises a glass of wine while standing in front of a Chinese flag
Just 22 per cent of Australians trust Xi Jinping to do the right thing in world affairs, the poll says.(Reuters

Australians’ attitudes towards China are hardening, according to a wide-ranging poll that has found plummeting trust in China and its President Xi Jinping.

Only 23 per cent of Australians trust China to act responsibly in the world, a dramatic fall from 52 per cent just two years ago.​

The Lowy Institute’s annual poll gauges Australians’ attitudes towards a range of international issues and this year saw 2,448 Australians questioned in late March.​

Natasha Kassam from the Lowy Institue said the poll detected a “generally gloomy sentiment”, with Australians feeling “far more distrustful, pessimistic and generally less secure in the world.”​

“This may not sound particularly surprising given the COVID-19 pandemic and Australia’s first recession in 29 years,” she said.

“But we can see that ongoing tensions with China and frustration with the United States have contributed to this generally gloomy sentiment.”​

Trust in China’s President Xi Jinping ‘to do the right thing regarding world affairs’ has dropped to just 22 per cent, which is half of what it was in 2018.​

“Until about two years ago, Australians saw China as an economic opportunity,” said Ms Kassam.​

The past year has seen China impose stiff tariffs on Australian barley exports, warn its students against studying in Australia, as well as being identified as the source of cyber-attacks against the country.

Massive approval of Ardern, but not so for Trump

Australians still value the alliance with the United States, with nearly eight in 10 describing America as ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ important to Australia’s security.​

Only one in three Australians trust US President Donald Trump ‘to do the right thing’, which is actually a slight improvement on how he was viewed last year, before he faced impeachment proceedings.

“Australians remains sceptical of President Trump and his America-first policies,” Ms Kassam said.​

Jacinda Ardern
Australians’ confidence in Jacinda Ardern is emphatic, according to the poll.(AAP: Mick Tsikas)

By contrast, 87 per cent of Australians have confidence in New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and 73 per cent have confidence in Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. ​

Australians feel less safe in 2020 than any other time in the Lowy Poll’s 16-year history.​

Only 50 per cent said they felt safe when asked about world events, compared to nearly 8 in 10 just two years ago.​

Last year, climate change was the dominant concern of Australians when asked about critical threats to Australia’s interests.​

This year, drought, COVID-19 and economic downturn are proving to be greater concerns.​

“We can see some level of concern about climate change subsiding as it’s no longer at the forefront of people’s minds,” said Ms Kassam.​

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-24/lowy-poll-australians-sceptical-china-disappointed-america/12384682

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