China has long been associated in the Western psyche with the panda bear, a creature that you’d be hard pressed to call intimidating. However, that may now be increasingly out of sync with the popular mood. A new BBC global poll (which surveyed 28,000) has found that many in the West are expressing alarm at China’s rise, and a majority of those polled in the US, France, Canada, Germany and Italy expressed negative views about China’s growing economic power. The BBC said that this number rose significantly over an identical poll it did in 2005. The broadcaster blames the “psychologically unsettling” recession in the West for the changed perception – with China now seen less as an opportunity, and more a threat.
By contrast, it reports, China scored very positively in all five African nations surveyed. “Across the developing nations polled, positive views of China were more numerous than negative ones – with the exception of just one country, Mexico,” says the BBC.
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