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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
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 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 ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid