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

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions 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.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid