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Most Americans view China unfavourably

A recent Gallup poll shows that most Americans view China unfavourably while respecting the country's economic power.

BEIJING: A recent Gallup poll shows that most Americans view China unfavourably while respecting the country's economic power.

Of the over 1,000 Americans interviewed, 53 per cent said they had an unfavourable opinion of China, while 43 per cent had a favourable perception.

In response, Chinese observers say those sentiments are only natural.

Results from the latest opinion poll in the US do not come as a surprise to many people here in China.

For two big countries with such different ideologies, histories, culture and core values, experts say it is unrealistic to expect the people of both countries to like each other's systems.

In fact, looking at previous polls, China's favourable rating has fluctuated in a narrow range between 41 per cent and 48 per cent since 2001.

The poll does show however that more Americans recognise China's growing economic strength.

52 per cent think of China as the leading economic power in the world, as compared to less than a third who believes the US is the leading economic power.

The majority of Americans surveyed also view China's growing economic influence as a threat to US vital interests over the next 10 years.

Something which some analysts say is only natural.

Professor Jin Canrong, Deputy Dean of the School of International Studies at Renmin University of China, explained: "China and the world will have to get used to a China that's extremely strong in the future. It's just a matter of time. Like it or not, China's rise will break western centralism over the last 500 years."

Still, it seems most respondents think China's development presents opportunities for cooperation.

Despite their generally unfavourable views of China, more Americans now see China as a friend or ally, rather than an enemy.

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