China's global reputation takes a hit amid COVID-19 pandemic

HONG KONG: Global perceptions of China have turned increasingly negative due to COVID-19 pandemic in the past few months, CNN quoted a new survey released by Pew Research on Tuesday.

Trust in Chinese President Xi Jinping has also plunged over the past 12 months, with more than 77 per cent of people surveyed in the United States saying they had no confidence in Xi to “do the right thing” in global affairs.

The non-partisan American “fact-tank” Pew Research surveyed 14,276 adults in 14 countries between June and August, primarily by telephone due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Among the countries surveyed were the US, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom.

“The major finding is that unfavorable views of China are rising precipitately and this is tied to the fact that China has not done a good job handling the coronavirus,” said Laura Silver, senior researcher at Pew and co-author of the report, as quoted by CNN.

Of the 14 countries polled by Pew Research, everyone had a majority negative view of China. In every country except for France, Japan and Italy, Beijing’s reputation was at its lowest point on record.

The coronavirus pandemic is likely to blame for some of the rapid fall in China’s favorability ratings, according to the survey. Across the 14 countries polled, 61 per cent of respondents said that Beijing had handled the viral outbreak poorly.

The past two years have seen a wave of negative news for the Chinese government. Criticism of Beijing’s crackdowns on protesters in Hong Kong and mass internment of Muslim-majority ethnic groups in the Xinjiang region made headlines around the world.

The current coronavirus pandemic started in China in December last year. Initial reports indicated that the start of the COVID-19 epidemic in China was linked to a market in the city of Wuhan in Hubei province. (ANI)