8 in 10 S. Koreans hold negative views of China, poll shows

Posted on : 2022-07-01 17:25 KST Modified on : 2022-07-01 17:25 KST
This was the highest the figure has been since opinion has been surveyed in Korea
The flag of China (Reuters/Yonhap News)
The flag of China (Reuters/Yonhap News)

Eight out of 10 South Koreans hold negative views of China, a survey conducted by a US research organization found. The figure for South Koreans is the highest it’s ever been since the organization started polling individuals around the world about their attitude towards China.

On Wednesday, Pew Research Center in the US published findings from a survey of 24,525 individuals from 19 countries including South Korea, the US and Japan conducted between February and early June. According to the survey, 80% of South Koreans and 82% of Americans hold negative opinions of China.

The share of respondents with unfavorable views of China was highest in Japan (87%), followed by Australia (86%) and Sweden (83%). The figure for the Netherlands was 75%, while the figure for Germany and Canada was 74% each.

In contrast, the figure was in the 30% range in Singapore and Malaysia.

(courtesy Pew Research Center)
(courtesy Pew Research Center)

Pew stated that attitudes towards China worsened due to a complex mix of factors, such as the emerging military threat posed by the country, its human rights policies, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Negative opinion toward China mushroomed in South Korea after China’s economic retaliation following the South’s decision to allow the US to install a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, missile interceptor on Korean soil in 2017.

According to the survey, the share of respondents with anti-Chinese views in South Korea almost doubled between 2015 and 2017 from 37% to 61%. The figure continued to grow afterward, coming in at 60% in 2018, 63% in 2019, 75% in 2020, and 77% in 2021.

“South Korea is also the only country surveyed where young people have more unfavorable views of China than older people,” the research center added.

By Choi Hyun-june, Beijing correspondent

Please direct questions or comments to [english@hani.co.kr]

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