‘India only nation where majority think US gained power in last 10 years’

By: | Updated: June 30, 2016 12:37 AM

India is the only nation where a majority of people think US is more powerful today than it was a decade ago, according to a new multi-nation survey which also found that Donald Trump's ability to manage foreign policy if he were to become President was "strongly negative."

India is the only nation where a majority of people think US is more powerful today than it was a decade ago, according to a new multi-nation survey which also found that Donald Trump's ability to manage foreign policy if he were to become President was "strongly negative." (Reuters)India is the only nation where a majority of people think US is more powerful today than it was a decade ago, according to a new multi-nation survey which also found that Donald Trump’s ability to manage foreign policy if he were to become President was “strongly negative.” (Reuters)

India is the only nation where a majority of people think US is more powerful today than it was a decade ago, according to a new multi-nation survey which also found that Donald Trump’s ability to manage foreign policy if he were to become President was “strongly negative.”

The survey released today by the Pew Research Center said that overall there’s no strong consensus about the trajectory of American power over the past decade. But when asked if the US plays a less, more or equally important and powerful role as a world leader compared with 10 years ago, respondents in most countries were fairly divided.

“Japan is the only country in which a majority thinks the US is less important and powerful than it was a decade ago, while India (57 pc) is the only nation with a majority saying the US is more important and powerful (than it did a decade ago),” Pew said.

The survey also said in the nearly half of the 15 nations polled, the share of public confidence in Trump was in single digits.

Pew said less than a quarter of people surveyed expressed confidence in Trump – the presumptive Republican nominee. The views of respondents on him were strongly negative, it said.

Overwhelming majorities in most of the countries surveyed have little or no confidence in his ability to handle international affairs. This distaste was especially strong in Sweden, where 82 per cent have no confidence in him, Pew said. Most Australians (87 pc), Canadians (80 pc) and Japanese (82 pc) also lack confidence in Trump.

In India, 67 per cent do not offer an opinion on Trump, while 18 per cent Indians have no confidence in him as against 14 per cent having confidence in him.

In China, there was a split between those who have no confidence in Trump (40 pc) and those who do not offer an opinion (39 pc), it said.

It said most Australians and Japanese gave Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton a positive rating.

According to the poll, only 28 per cent of Indians showed confidence in Clinton’s ability to manage world affairs. 16 per cent said they have no confidence in her. Surprisingly, a majority (56 pc) in India has no opinion of her.

Clinton got positive marks from Canadians (60 pc), Australians (70 pc), and from the Japanese (70 pc).

Views on her among the Chinese were mixed, with 37 per cent saying they have confidence in her, 35 per cent saying they do not have confidence and 28 per cent with no opinion.

Still, ratings for the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee were consistently lower than President Barack Obama’s, it said.

In the four Asia-Pacific nations surveyed – Australia, China, India and Japan – Obama receives relatively positive marks. Obama enjoys high ratings from Canadians (83 pc) and Australians (84 pc).

Obama is viewed positively by majorities in Japan (78 pc) and India (58 pc). In China, 52 per cent have confidence in his abilities to handle international affairs. Pew said US’ overall image has not changed substantially in the past year in most of the nations surveyed. However, ratings were down significantly in India, Italy and France, down slightly in Spain, and up slightly in Germany and China.

Chinese public opinion has shifted from leaning slightly negative in 2015 (44 pc favorable, 49 pc unfavorable) to leaning slightly positive this year (50 pc favorable, 44 pc unfavorable).

In India, 41 per cent think the US government respects its citizens’ freedoms, but nearly as many do not offer an opinion, the survey revealed.

Comparatively only 24 per cent in India have confidence in the Russian President Vladimir Putin, while for his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping 20 per cent of the Indians have no confidence and 15 per cent have confidence in him.

On China, the agency said only two nations – Greece and Australia – do half or more of those surveyed express a favorable opinion of China.

Favorable views were least common in Japan, where just 11 per cent see their East Asian neighbour and frequent rival in a positive light.

“Only 37 per cent of Americans give China a favorable rating, while 55 per cent express a negative view. Majorities also see China negatively in Sweden, France, Italy, Spain and Germany,” it said.

“Favorable ratings for China have declined since last year in six of the 11 nations where trends are available, including France (down 17 percentage points), Spain (-13 points), India (-10 points), Italy (-8 points), the UK (-8 points) and Germany (-6 points),” the Pew survey said.

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