The public sees China's global role strengthening. Terrorism and religious conflicts around the globe rose.
The majority are likely to expect the world to unceasingly change, with rapid and remarkable speed and friction between countries being a trend in the next one to three years
BEIJING, Feb. 4, 2019 -- In 2018, unprecedented changes have taken place in the political, economic, and other fields. The world situation was volatile and unpredictable. Global Survey Beijing Company Limited (Global Survey), the polling center of Global Times, recently released survey results revealing how people around the world perceived the world changes in 2018.
The public clearly perceives the changes in the world situation, with foreign respondents feeling stronger than Chinese ones. When asked "How do you think the world situation has changed in the past year?" over four-fifths (81.1%) of respondents said the world situation changed. Among them, 15.1% across 17 countries believe the world situation has undergone disruptive changes, 49.2% think it has changed significantly, while 35.7% believe a certain degree of change has taken place. In contrast, 9.1% of respondents think there was little change, and 4.5% think nothing has changed. China, Kenya and India are more sensitive to changes in the world than other countries. In the United States and South Africa, the public views changes in the world situation as more disruptive.
Public recognizes China's rising power. When it comes to international issues in 2018, 69.8% of respondents agree with the view that "China keeps rising". Among them, Kenya (97.1%), Egypt (83.9%) and South Africa (81.3%) have a high degree of recognition, while Japanese respondents have the lowest degree.
On "the influence of the U.S.", the number of respondents who think it was "declining" (41.8%) is slightly higher than those who don't (35.2%). Kenya (68.5%), India (61.1%) and the U.S. (51.6%) were more pessimistic of the U.S. as the world's leading power, while Asian countries such as Korea (21.4%，Ukraine (24.7%) and Kazakhstan (29.0%) hold that the US maintained its number one position.
40.8% of respondents do not think that the global economy continued to recover while India most disagrees with it. More than half of the respondents (55.6%) believe that the division of Europe has been accelerated, with British respondents most agreeing with it. In addition, nearly half of the respondents disagree with the view that "the situation in the Middle East is gradually easing" (45.7%), and "the European refugee crisis has eased" (46.9%), especially for European countries like Germany (11.0%), France (11.4%), and Spain (13.1%).
Nearly one-third of the public feel pessimistic about a stable world situation. When asked about the attitude they hold towards the development of the world economy and society in the next 1-3 years, 22.2% of the respondents are optimistic that the world situation will be stable. However, 29.1% of the respondents hold a pessimistic view on the same issue, and Europe and the US are more pessimistic than Asian countries, except Japan (45.4%).
Despite uncertainty, a predictable future is on the horizon. World change and friction among countries are keywords for the public in the next one to three years. According to the survey, 26.8% of respondents believe that the increase in friction between countries will be the prevailing trend in the world situation in the next one to three years, and Japan most agrees with this view. In contrast, 13.0% of respondents believe that friendly cooperation between countries is the prevailing trend and China most agrees with it.
When it comes to changes in the world situation, the proportion of people who believe the world will unceasingly and rapidly change are higher than that who believe the world will be relatively stable. 25% of respondents said that the world situation will change constantly and rapidly. Conversely, 21.1% of respondents think that the world situation will be relatively stable and slow to change.
Talking of globalization, the public holds different ideas. 20.8% of respondents think that globalization or integration will be further strengthened while 18.3% of respondents think there will be a reverse globalization trend. On world political issues, 21% think that there will be some new national alliances. 8.1% believe that the world will maintain their original alliances and pattern.
* Due to truncated significant digits, total percentage may not be 100%.
The survey was conducted by an online panel across 17 countries from Nov. 20 to Nov. 29, 2018, covering citizens over the age of 18 in various occupations and fields. These 17 surveyed countries were from Asia (China, Japan, The South Korea, Kazakhstan, Indonesia and India), Africa (Kenya, Egypt and South Africa), North America (the United States), Europe (the United Kingdom, France, German, Ukraine, Spain, and Russia), and Oceania (Australia). With 16,924 participants across such a wide variety of countries, it remains a useful snapshot of key, cross-national patterns in civic life and public affairs.
Global Survey Beijing Company Limited is a consulting and research institution affiliated with Global Times that focuses on global public opinion survey (polling) and monitoring.
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