Africa welcomes China's growing economic clout
Updated: 2011-03-29 14:12
By Ai Yang and Cheng Guangjin (China Daily)
BEIJING - All African countries view China's increasing economic power as a force for good, a poll showed on Sunday.
Asked how they view the possibility of an economically stronger China, Nigerians and Kenyans were the most enthusiastic among all countries surveyed, with around 80 percent expressing positive views, according to the survey commissioned by the BBC World Service.
Compared with a survey conducted by the BBC World Service in 2005, negative views of China's growing economic power rose in its large trading partners including the United States, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and Mexico.
"All African countries view China's increasing economic power positively," the survey report said.
Sub-Saharan Africa was where most people would be happy to see China boosting its military might.
An average of 55 percent of the 28,000 people polled in 27 countries regarded China's military growth as negative, an increase from the 2005 poll.
Negative views of China's military growth increased from 58 percent to 76 percent in South Korea, and from 46 to 63 percent in the Philippines.
Rear Admiral Yang Yi, an expert at the Institute of Strategic Studies of the National Defense University, questioned the authenticity of the poll, noting that China has been cooperating with its neighbors on regional security.
"In international disputes, we do not impose our ideology on others and always seek a peaceful resolution," Yang said.
The poll also suggests that worries about China's economic growth are related to perceptions that China's trade practices with other countries are unfair.
Overall, more than one-third of those polled rated China's trade practices as unfair, compared to 28 percent for the US and just one in five for the European Union.
China is also expected by many to overtake the US in terms of economic importance to their own country over the next 10 years, according to the poll.
Gong Shaopeng, a professor of international politics at China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, said the results lack certain objectivity, as the polled countries are in different stages of development, and perceive China's influence only through partial experience.
"The developing and the developed nations are in very different positions. Their economic policies are different or even contrast with each other due to the world financial crisis," Gong said.
"It will be fairer to comment on China's growing power, when all polled countries have emerged from the economic crisis," Gong said.
The results of the poll were based on interviews between December 2010 and February 2011.
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