News / Asia

Poll Shows Australians Wary of China

Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard walks past a Chinese national flag as she arrives at a welcoming lunch during the Australia China Economic and Trade Forum at a hotel in Beijing, April 9, 2013. The Chinese characters read, "Australia."
Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard walks past a Chinese national flag as she arrives at a welcoming lunch during the Australia China Economic and Trade Forum at a hotel in Beijing, April 9, 2013. The Chinese characters read, "Australia."
Phil Mercer
A new poll released Monday indicated that more than 40 percent of Australians think China will become a military threat in the coming decades.  The annual study from the independent research organization, the Lowy Institute, also finds that many Australians believe their government is allowing too much Chinese investment.  Despite these fears, the poll also shows that Australians say they appreciate how important trade is with China. 

The survey shows that attitudes towards China among many Australians are cooling.  There is suspicion about a potential military threat and wariness about growing Chinese investment in Australia.   

But the survey by the Sydney-based Lowy Institute highlights a complex bilateral relationship.  The annual poll details a deep appreciation by respondents of China’s part in Australia’s prosperity.  Chinese demand for natural resources, mostly notably iron ore, has insulated the Australian economy from the worst of the global financial crisis.  China is Australia’s biggest trading partner.

Alex Oliver, a research fellow at the Lowy Institute, says despite a lucrative trade relationship, there is mistrust in Australia towards China.

“The majority of Australians say the Australian government allows too much investment from China, and a significant minority, and this is really interesting given that China is now Australia’s largest trading partner, think that China is likely to become a military threat to Australia in the next 20 years.  So that is a wary relationship, it is an ambivalent relationship and it is going to be complicated for any government to resolve," said Oliver.  

Around 1,000 people were quizzed by the Lowy Institute about their attitudes to foreign policy and other countries. 

More than 60 percent of respondents say they believe China will eventually replace the United States as the world's leading superpower, while 12 percent say it already has.

According to the poll, the long-standing military alliance with the U.S. remains Australia’s most significant international relationship.

Australians consider their ties with Britain, Ireland, Germany and the United States to be the most valuable, while the most mistrusted relationships are with Indonesia, Israel, Burma, Iran and North Korea.

The survey also found that the majority of respondents believe Australia’s conservative opposition would manage the nation’s international affairs, including asylum seekers and security, better than the center-left government.

Australians vote in a federal election in September.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Lee
June 24, 2013 4:07 PM
And is it because China (& other countries) are apparently buying up Australian land? Why does the government (be it State or Federal) stop this!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jane Monheit Christmas Speciali
X
December 22, 2014 8:15 PM
Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Trade Talks Could Heat Up in 2015

With boosting trade a top priority for the Obama administration, 2015 may be the year that an agreement is finally reached on the Trans Pacific Partnership. But the trade deal, which is intended to boost trade between 12 Pacific countries, faces opposition as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school

All About America

AppleAndroid