4 in 5 Canadians dislike and distrust China, poll finds

Four in five people in Canada view China unfavourably, while even more agree that the Chinese government has not been transparent or honest about the COVID-19 situation in that country, the latest study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds.

Just 14% of adults in this country now say they have a positive opinion of China, a level half as high as it was six months ago (29%) as the Communist Party of China faces accusations from Western intelligence agencies that Beijing hid the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak in the early days of the pandemic and pressured WHO to underreport the severity of the impending coronavirus pandemic[1]http://angusreid.org/covid19-china/.

Canadian public opinion towards China, which had been on the decline since 2017, dropped precipitously after Beijing arbitrarily arrested and detained two Canadians in a tit-for-tat reaction to Canada’s arrest – and subsequent release on bail – of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

The dislike for and the distrust of China is a non-partisan issue, as Conservative, Liberal and NDP voters all overwhelmingly hold a negative view of that country.

Three-quarters of Canadians say Canada should prioritize human rights and the rule of law over economic opportunity.

Canadians’ view of their neighbour the south is also becoming less favourable.

Just 38% of Canadians now say they hold a favourable view of the United States – Canada’s largest trading partner.

The decline has been largely attributed to the widely unpopular term of President Trump, and may now be exacerbated by his administration’s widely criticized response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While Canadians are becoming more wary of China and the United States, the European Union has been winning the war on hearts and minds.

The majority of Canadians view the EU as the top choice to develop closer trade ties among Canada’s major trading partners.

References   [ + ]

1. http://angusreid.org/covid19-china/