According to the annual nationwide survey conducted by the Lowy Institute research center, Australians’ confidence in China fell to a record low amid the crisis with coronavirus.
Only 23% of Australians surveyed said they “trust China to some degree or another to act responsibly in the world”, compared with 52% in the same survey conducted in 2018.
The survey, which was conducted in March this year, surveyed more than 2,400 Australians.
More than half of respondents said Australia’s relationship with the United States was more important than China.
Tensions between China and Australia have intensified in recent months, as the latter called for a global investigation into the origin of the coronavirus, which first appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan. This move provoked the wrath of Beijing, which aimed at Australian products.
USA vs China
According to the survey, most Australians say that the country should reduce its dependence on China.
Despite the fact that more than half consider China an “economic partner” rather than a “security threat,” the vast majority (94%) believe that the government should find other markets so that Australia can “reduce our economic dependence on China.” Institute report said.
“Our ties with China are being tested by an ever-more insistent party-state,” Lowy said. “Our great ally, the United States, has already self-insulated under the chairmanship of Donald Trump. Now, in the middle of a pandemic, it looks very bad. ”
“Most Australians still believe that our alliance with the United States is important to our security. But confidence in the United States has faded, and only a few Australians trust President Trump, ”the institute added.
Despite concerns expressed about China, more and more Australians (31%) believe that Beijing has done well with the outbreak of coronavirus – compared with 10% who said the same thing about Washington.