Maree (ms_maree) wrote in ontd_political,
Maree
ms_maree
ontd_political

Australia an Asian nation, say Chinese

Cool, so does that mean I can call myself Asian now?

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THAT perennial and uniquely Australian debate - are we an Asian country or not - has finally been settled. By the Chinese.



A Lowy Institute poll of Chinese public opinion on world affairs, to be released today, shows Australia is accepted as an Asian nation, with an important role to play in regional organisations, attractive values and a good political system.

But the Chinese are wary of Australia's close ties to the United States, with 48 per cent of those surveyed regarding it as a negative influence on Australia-China relations.

In what is believed to be the first public survey of Chinese attitudes on Australia, the poll also showed almost half those surveyed believe Australia is a country suspicious of China.

Reflecting a growing nationalist strain in Chinese politics, the country's youth are more likely to regard the United States as a potential threat and to argue China receives less respect than it deserves in world affairs.

The Lowy Institute's Andrew Shearer said he was pleasantly surprised about how positive attitudes were towards Australia's role in regional matters.

''We know that's not necessarily in keeping with official Chinese views. Over the years China has been quite active in blocking Australian participation in East Asian forums,'' Mr Shearer said.

The positive findings also coincided with the height of tensions over the visit to Australia of exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer that drew a sharp rebuke from Beijing.

The survey of 1200 people was done in late August and early September.


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