Majority of Indians regard China as a friend and partner in sharp contrast to feeling among Chinese who consider Pakistan a better partner and place India next only to the US and Japan in the list of nations that threatened their country the most, according to a new survey.
A series of surveys conducted between 2000 and 2009 in India and China gives a glimpse of how people of the two countries living in divergent systems perceived each other in the period when both posted good growth rates.
The surveys conducted by Beijing-based Horizon Research Consultancy was released the 2nd India-China Forum meeting here today.
About 43 per cent Indians interviewed consider China as a partner, while 23 per cent regarded it as an enemy.
"Eight per cent said they don't know while 26 per cent said it was difficult to identify," Yuan Yue, Chairman of the consultancy group, said presenting the details.
Yuan left the meeting immediately after his presentation and efforts by Indian correspondents here to reach him were not successful.
About 4500 Chinese were surveyed annually by his firm since 2000, he said.
"There is a consistent feeling in India that China is a friendly country," Yuan said adding that 33 per cent Indians said they believe China would over take US.
In sharp contrast, Chinese regard that Indians were not as diligent as they (Chinese) are and most of the Indians lived in poor conditions with many sleeping on footpaths, though Chinese believe that rich Indians are richer than that of their Chinese counterparts.
Yuan said over the years' Chinese attitude towards India has improved but their perceptions were not high about forging economic cooperation or friendship.
India figured only after Russia, North Korea, European Union and Australia in Chinese perceptions. Only 2.2 per cent Chinese regard India as the most friendly country, he said.
Japan, which was viewed poorly in Chinese perceptions due to historic discord, figured way below India.
"If we compare with Pakistan more Chinese feel that it was a better partner than India. About 4.9 per cent felt that Pakistan was a better partner for China in 2009," he said.
According to him, Chinese also regard India as the "weakest" among BRIC nations, (Brazil, Russia, India and China).
They also feel that Indians were not getting benefited much out of their country's rise as economic power.