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World opinion of China, Russia slips: BBC poll

Global public perceptions of China and Russia’s influence in the world have become more negative in the past year, according to the BBC World Service radio’s annual poll of 21 countries.

world Updated: Feb 06, 2009 23:45 IST

Global public perceptions of China and Russia’s influence in the world have become more negative in the past year, according to the BBC World Service radio’s annual poll of 21 countries published on Friday.

The poll, conducted since Barack Obama won the November 4 US presidential election, also revealed a slight improvement in views of the US, although they remained largely negative. Germany maintained the the most positive ratings, while Iran, followed by Pakistan and Israel, still had the three worst.

In the 2008 poll, people leaned toward saying China and Russia were having positive influences in the world. But positive opinions of China have slipped by six points to a worldwide average of 39 per cent, with 40 per cent (up seven) now holding a negative view.

In the last poll, respondents in 16 countries had a largely positive view of China, while five had a mainly negative view. Countries now are evenly split at 10 each in those camps. Pakistan was the next worst, with 53 per cent negative and 17 percent positive views. Eighteen countries came down on the negative side.

Negative opinions of Russia’s influence in the world are up eight points, meaning substantially more people have a negative view (42 per cent) than a positive view (30 per cent). Americans and Europeans have both grown more negative toward Russia, while Russians have become more negative toward the US and the European Union. Russians’ views towards Germany and Britain also worsened.

Opinions of the United States’ influence on the world improved in Canada, Egypt, Ghana, India, Italy and Japan, the survey found.

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