Amid THAAD protests, China falls below Japan in South Korea’s esteem

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/3/22 18:33:39

China has overtaken Japan in the ranking of South Koreans' least favored countries, said a recent survey.

The rise in antipathy comes amid retaliation by China against the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system that Seoul recently deployed, despite protests from Beijing.

The Seoul-based Asan Institute for Policy Studies on Monday published on its website the South Korean favorability ratings for the US, China, Japan and North Korea, which is based on a survey of 1,000 respondents from across the country from March 6 to March 8.

Results shows that China's favorability rating fell from 4.31 in January to 3.21 on scale of 1 to 10.

"One of the surprising results from our March 2017 public opinion survey was the sharp decline in China's favorability among Koreans. Although a drop was expected and perhaps inevitable given the Chinese response to THAAD," read the report.

"Even more surprising is that Koreans are now more favorable toward Japan (3.33) than China," read the report, noting Japan had consistently been Koreans' least favored country due to disputes over Japan's wartime atrocities including the "comfort women" issue.

Japan's number also fell from 3.56 in January to 3.33 in March.

"South Koreans have their own logic of perceiving THAAD. They think it is an act of protection not an attack. They don't understand why Chinese are anti-THAAD and feeling angry, which caused the low favorability to China," Dong Xiangrong, a research fellow at the National Institute of International Strategy under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

"As long as we take proper measures, the favorability can be regained," Dong added.



Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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