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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid