Global attitudes toward China: trends and correlates
China’s impact on the world has been increasing in the past few decades. How is the rest of the world reacting to China’s rise? One way to answer this question is to study public attitudes toward China. This article examines the trends, patterns, and determinants of public attitudes toward China in other countries by analyzing data from opinion surveys in the years 2005 to 2018. Two motivating hypotheses guide this article’s analyses. First, public attitudes toward China in developing or less-developed countries are economy-oriented, with China’s involvement in a local economy leading to a more positive attitude toward the country. Second, public attitudes toward China in developed countries are ideology-oriented, with an emphasis on values and beliefs. The study concludes that public opinion on China has experienced a downward trend overall, especially in developed and democratic countries. Moreover, China’s foreign direct investment in a given country is positively associated with favorable opinion, while Chinese exports to other countries are negatively associated with favorable opinion.