Poll tracks declining sentiment towards China . . .
The latest annual poll by the Lowy Institute, a Sydney-based think-tank, shows that Australians’ trust in China as a responsible global actor and public warmth towards the country have dipped to their lowest levels in the poll’s 15-year history (32 per cent and 49 per cent, respectively). These results coincide with rising skepticism in Australia about Chinese investments and China’s military activities in Australia’s backyard. In addition, a majority of the respondents (74 per cent) feel their country’s economy is too dependent on its number one trading partner.
Rising concerns about foreign interference, especially in tech . . .
This year, there was an eight per cent increase from last year in the number of Australians who view foreign interference in the country’s domestic politics as one of the most serious threats to vital national interests (now at 49 per cent). This trend is especially salient with regard to the use of foreign technology; 44 per cent of survey respondents said “protecting Australians from foreign state intrusion” should be the government’s first priority. Lowy suggests that this result demonstrates public approval for the government’s decision last year to block Chinese tech equipment suppliers Huawei and ZTE in its 5G network construction.
Resonance in Canada . . .
APF Canada’s recent National Opinion Poll shows Canadians have similar concerns, with 56 per cent expressing opposition to more Asian FDI in Canada’s high-tech sector. Canadians seem to be particularly skeptical of investments in the telecommunications sector and investments coming from China.
- Lowy Institute: Lowy Institute Poll 2019
- The Diplomat: Poll: Australians sour on China
- Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada: 2019 National Opinion Poll: Canadian views on high-tech investment from Asia