China’s image is improving on an international level. This result emerges from BBC’s annual report of the 15 most influential countries in the world, which started in 2005. The case study covers a total of 29,000 people in 27 countries in order to better understand the way national impressions are evoked. China’s international reputation grew slightly. Of those surveyed, 41% of them consider China to have a positive international influence – two points higher than its results just last year. Instead, 38% said China was negatively influential, which decreased by two points since the year before.
The most significant improvement was achieved by the United States that, with the new Obama administration, bettered its international image. For the first time since the case study was established, the US enjoys more positive than negative perceptions on a global scale (46% versus 34%, with a 20% neutral vote). Aside from improvement, China’s international reputation has also grown in terms of the number of the 27 countries which participated in the report. Twelve of them considered China to be a positive international influence, another twelve considered it to be a negative one, while the remaining three were undecided on the matter.
China regained the popularity it once enjoyed before having lost it, especially during its intervention in Tibet, and its issues with human rights. China’s –slight — recoup is notable for its function as a political balancer in the international arena, as well as its speedy economic recovery. Developing nations’ already high appreciation towards China’s have also increased: India being the exception. Beijing is perceived as the center for new markets, as well as a pulling force in political and economic terms. The country’s negative judgements remain relatively steady in Europe, with slight improvements. In this scenario, Italy’s perception towards China emerges as the most severe.
There, China’s score shows the highest difference between its positive and negative extremes: 72% was the highest negative expression, while 14% was the lowest ranking of China’s positive international perception. These figures were also reported on more depth on China Daily, where the most negative perception of China comes from Italy. Ironically, China’s perception of Italy is, instead, positive– especially in regards to its cultural, historical background: overall their relationship is highly asymmetrical.
During the 2006 World Cup, the final match showed how supportive Chinese fans were towards Italy, as opposed to France. China’s friendly attitude could lead to great commercial and diplomatic enhancement for Italy, but so far it hasn’t been the case. Italy’s perception of China as a negative influence may lead to a loss of opportunity for the nation. This is especially true since China’s rise, as well as its recent role in handling the economic crisis.