China seen as biggest threat to stability
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
China has overtaken the US as the biggest threat to global stability in the eyes of Europeans, according to a new Harris opinion poll.
The recent wave of protests and riots in Tibet and the ensuing Chinese crackdown, together with competition from cheap Chinese exports, appear to have dramatically hardened opinion, with the proportion of Europeans who saw China as the biggest threat almost doubling since last year.
The poll found an average of 35 per cent of respondents in five European countries saw China as a bigger threat to global stability than any other state. In the US, 31 per cent of respondents also named China, putting it way above Iran and North Korea, which were both perceived as greater threats last year.
The story of the last five years has been about economic opportunities. The story of the last six months has been about China as a threat in Darfur and in Tibet. The little that Europeans knew about China came from news coverage, recently unfavourable, whereas they were constantly consuming US popular culture.