China is widely acknowledged as a world power but it may have some way to go to ease distrust towards it, going by a new survey of public perceptions of the country from around the world.
While 60 per cent of over 14,400 people who took part in a survey by China's Global Times newspaper agreed that the country was a global power, only 13.3 per cent saw it as "peaceful".
Instead, twice as many people, or 29.4 per cent, said China was "belligerent", according to the survey published yesterday.
Titled China's Global Image And International Influence In 2013, the survey polled an average of about 1,000 residents from 14 countries, spanning Australia, Britain and the United States.
Other countries are South Africa, Brazil and Kenya, as well as China's neighbours India, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, the Philippines, Russia and Vietnam. China itself was also polled.
Respondents from countries closer to China viewed it more negatively than those from farther away. Only 25.4 per cent from its neighbouring countries said they like China, compared with 36 per cent of those from elsewhere.
China's neighbours also tend to expect to have a competitive or confrontational relationship with China in the next decade, said the survey.
Interpreting the results, Dr Anit Mukherjee, an international relations expert at the S. Rajaratnam School Of International Studies, said it was "inevitable" to some extent that those closer to China would feel more fearful of its rise.