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#26 - JRL 2008-140 - JRL Home
Poll: Most Russians See China As Friendly Country

MOSCOW. July 31 (Interfax) - An opinion poll suggests that 54% of Russians consider China to be a friend of their country and that 41% of Russians think China is in a position to become the world's economic and political leader.

Twenty-four percent of Russians do not see China as a friendly state, 22% are undecided on this point, according to the returns of a poll taken by the Public Opinion Foundation (FOM) this month.

Asked about their personal attitude to China, 56% of respondents described it as "indifferent," 29% said they liked China and 9% said they disliked it.

In FOM polls in 2001 and 2006, 47% and 51% of respondents respectively said they took an indifferent attitude to China. In the 2001 survey, 43% said they liked China.

Some of the respondents who said they liked China - 8% - said in explaining their attitude that the Chinese "somehow support each other," that "they work a lot and well" and "are a friendly people."

Others - 5% - were impressed by China's economic achievements, crediting the country with "a great leap in the economy," saying the Chinese "have been able to get their economy going in a short time," that "people's welfare is improving yearly" in China and that the country "is developing technologically."

Still others - 3% - were more pragmatic. They said that, "thanks to China, we have a lot of goods," that the Chinese "are providing us with clothing," that "most of the goods now (on sale in Russia) have been manufactured in China," and that "if you take those goods away, there will be practically nothing left."

The largest single proportion of those who disliked China - 3% - said the reason for their feelings was China's "demographic expansion" and that Russia is "swarming" with Chinese.

Forty-one percent of respondents believed China stood a good chance of becoming the global economic and political leader while 30% excluded this possibility.

The FOM did its questioning in 46 of Russia's 83 regions.