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Pew Research On Attitudes Towards China: It’s About Trade

December 19th, 2007

The Pew Research Center has published a survey of global attitudes towards China. It’s a simple barometer that asks citizens of various countries whether they have a favorable or unfavorable view. The survey suggests that attitudes are connected to politics, but I see a more direct trade-related link.

Economies that have seen their export sectors devastated have strong negative views towards China. Turkey is one telling example with 53% expressing a negative view. Turkey used to make for Europe many products, but much of that has now gone to China.

Similarly, Italian goods are being made in China, and negative views on China are at 61%. Germany and Japan are both strongly negative towards China, and I think this is about a weakened industrial base in both of those economies.

On the positive side now. In South America, the Chileans are 62% in favor of China. I doubt that Chile has lost anyting to China. I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I know that China is buying a lot of Chilean wines. Chilean is among my favorite wine in China, and the price-to-quality ratio is on target. I don’t know what else is happening in Chile except wine, but I’m guessing Chile is an easy beneficiary of China’s rise and that few domestic industries are being turned upside down as a result of China’s advantage.

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