The Good — In Part I, published on Feb 23rd, we covered the nations with net positive results, i.e. countries viewed favorably by the world populace — at least the populace of the countries that the poll was conducted in.
The Bad — In Part II, I cover the nations with net negative less than 10 points, i.e. countries viewed unfavorably by the world populace but too badly.
The Ugly — In Part III, to be published at a later date, I will cover the nations with net negative greater than 10 points, i.e. countries viewed really unfavorably by the world populace.
So without further ado, Part II (China and United States):
Section 1: A re-cap on the poll.
BBC World Service Poll in conjunction with Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland conducted 13,575 in-home or telephone interviews across a total of 21 countries between 21 November 2008 and 1 February 2009.
The poll asked if the individual’s view of a countries’ influence was “mainly positive”, “mainly negative” or “neutral?” The question was asked about 16 countries. 9 out of 16 countries had a net positive influence and 7 had a net negative influence per the poll (see graph below).
Section 2: Comments on some of the countries with net negative scores.
Rank 10: China
China is the country with the least net negative points — 1 point — but has had a swing in the negative direction of 13 points compared to last year. Similar poll in early 2008 showed net positive of 12 points for China.
I believe Olympics has done more harm for China than good: firstly, it brought renewed focus to the annexation of Tibet and the continued supression of human, religious and other rights and secondly, the widespread coverage of pollution in Beijing laid bare the callous approach taken by the Chinese Government towards the environment, natural resources and forced human migration. The tainted toys and milk scandal also must have contributed to the negative trend.
In general, the communist regime, its mind wash program that still continues via controlled media and demonizes other nations it doesn’t like and its overall cloak and dagger mode of operation leads many to not trust the Chinese establishment.
Rank 11: United States of America
The USA reduced its net negative points from 12 to 3 in one year (2009: 40 positive vs. 43 negative) . Almost all of that positive bump can be attributed to the huge sigh of relief that emanated from across the globe as President Bush’s term ended. The mindless violence caused by US invasion of Iraq, its unwavering support of Israel despite its draconian measures against Palestinians in peace time and war time alike, and its interference in internal matters of many countries — mostly leading to negative affects — had left little trust for the Bush administration and its policies.
On the other hand, the humanitarian work done by the Bush administration in Africa, the humanitarian causes supported by the people of America at large, the spirit of innovation and the ideals of freedom, equality and prosperity (at least for those living in the US) always gets the USA some support in prosperous and poor countries alike.
I will be watching the 2010 report anxiously. For, despite Obama administration’s positive moves on a various fronts– from investment in alternative energy sources, closing down Guantanamo prison, separation of Science and Politics to withdrawal from Iraq and reaching out to Russia, Iran and Syria — it is the ominous global economic situation caused by, in many peoples minds, by US imposition of broken down form of capitalism on to the globe that will likely drive US popularity down. And I am sure there will be a real battering of American image if the recession continues for a long period of time or gets worse.
Filed under: World Affairs | Tagged: BBC, Bush, China, economy, guantanamo, iraq, Obama, olympics, opinion, people, poll, president, USA, world | 1 Comment »