Unpacking “the West”: Divergence and Asymmetry in Chinese Public Attitudes Towards Europe and the United States

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Recent public opinion polls conducted in Europe and the United States show increasingly negative views of China. Does the Chinese public hold similar views of ?the West?? Conducting a two-wave survey in China, we found great divergence and asymmetries in Chinese public perceptions. First, Chinese views of European countries and the US diverge sharply, despite these countries being typically grouped together as ?the West? in mainstream English and Chinese discourses; the Chinese viewed the US much more negatively than Europe. Second, whereas the Chinese reciprocated American antipathy, there was an asymmetry in public perceptions between China and Europe, with the Chinese expressing much greater favourability towards European countries than the other way around, though the degree of favourability still varied by country. Analyses of respondent attributes also yielded insights that both confirm and challenge some of the conventional wisdom regarding age, education, and party membership in Chinese public opinion.

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Liu, Adam Y., Li, Xiaojun and Fang, Songying. "Unpacking “the West”: Divergence and Asymmetry in Chinese Public Attitudes Towards Europe and the United States." Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 52, no. 1 (2023) Sage: 119-133. https://doi.org/10.1177/18681026221139301.

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