China’s reputation has deteriorated, Taiwan’s defense is supported in many countries

China’s reputation around the world has plummeted since 2019, although 2022 is better than 2021, and in many countries around the world (including outside Europe), a large proportion of respondents would approve of some form of support for Taiwan if Beijing tries to take it by force.

This is according to a YouGov survey conducted between August 24 and September 22. According to him, those sharing a positive opinion of the United States have increased sharply; In many countries, approval for the world’s leading economy fell in 2020 compared to 2019 but has since improved. Out of 25 countries, 25 prefer the US to be the leading superpower.

The survey, entitled YouGov-Cambridge Globalism Project, has been running since 2019 and the Guardian is a traditional partner.

Particularly strong support for the US outside of Asia.

In most of the surveyed countries, the share of those who indicated the USA as their preferred power significantly exceeded those who chose China: in Nigeria – 77% against 15%, in India – 69 against 9%, in Mexico – 48 against 23%, in Brazil – 59 against 11%. This does not mean rejecting China’s role in the world, which is positive according to a majority of respondents in 9 out of 12 non-Western countries. Approval rose from the previous year in a number of countries – Mexico, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and Kenya – after a sharp decline between 2019 and 2021.

This drop in support for China was seen in many of the countries surveyed: from 46 to 24% in Poland, from 36 to 17% in France, from 30 to 13% for Germany, from 32 to 11% in Denmark, from 27 to 18% in the United States. To a large extent, factors for this change are both the pandemic (which respondents associate with China) and – at least in the West – the information about the mass detention of Uyghurs in camps in Xinjiang province.

It is also striking that in some leading Western countries – for example, Germany – the difference between the proportion of those who prefer the US to China and those who answered the opposite is much smaller.

Defense of Taiwan

In the European Union (Denmark and Sweden), but also outside it (USA, Great Britain, Australia, India, Japan, Kenya, and Nigeria), more than half of the respondents believe that other countries should help Taiwan in the event of an attack by China. The big European countries (France, Germany, Spain, Poland) are rather divided, but still those willing to give support are more by at least 15 points.

The division sharpens over how to do this. Support for a US-led alliance to provide arms or troops to Taiwan was low among respondents. However, at least 40 percent of them in 10 of 13 Western countries surveyed support imposing sanctions on China and sending in military advisers and providing intelligence.

Despite China’s active role in a number of countries in Africa, all three included in the survey – Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa – show a high level of support for Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack. Along with this, however, there are many respondents who consider China’s role in world affairs to be positive. In other words, many may support the defense of Taiwan, but at the same time look favorably on China as a powerful voice in the international system without accepting it as an alternative.

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