fredag 12. februar 2021

Report: Trust in US Soars Among Southeast Asians, Wanes Toward China

Southeast Asian professionals are concerned that Beijing could use its financial and military might to threaten their countries’ sovereignty, which is why more of them trust the United States over China to work toward world peace, according to a new report by a Singaporean think-tank. Confidence that the U.S. would be a leader in fostering global peace soared this year from the previous one, while fewer professionals throughout the region now trust China on the issue, according to findings of surveys done by the ASEAN Studies Center at the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute.

“The region’s trust deficit in China is trending upwards. China is the only major power that has increased its negative ratings from 60.4 percent in 2020 to 63 percent in 2021,” according “The State of Southeast Asia 2021” report. “China’s predominant economic and political influence in the region has created more awe than affection. … the majority worry that such economic heft, combined with China’s military power, could be used to threaten their country’s interest and sovereignty,” said the report.

The think-tank surveyed more than a 1,000 people in the 10 countries that form the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The United States, by contrast, has “made a surprising turn-around” in positive ratings in 2021 from the year before – 48.3 percent this year compared with 30.3 percent last year.