China to become major power: poll

By Jiang Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2014-2-24 0:38:02

People overseas are more confident than local Chinese that China will become a major world power, found a global survey on China's national image.

The survey, jointly released Friday by the Center for International Communication Studies of China Foreign Languages Publishing Administration, the Charhar Institute, a Chinese think tank, and marketing company Millward Brown, found that China is most recognized in the world as an "ancient civilization," followed by the image of a "major power."

Some 58 percent of the 3,017 international respondents from BRICS nations, the UK and the US, see China as a major emerging power.

Forty-seven percent recognize China as a major power, whereas half of Chinese respondents see China only as a regional power.

Sixty percent of the foreign respondents believe that China is able to join the ranks of major powers mainly due to its economic growth.

China is also ranked fourth among the top five countries in terms of scientific and technological strengths, following Japan, the US and the UK, while 66 percent of the foreign respondents believe that China has a strong capability for innovation.

Some results provoked many discussions online as many Chinese Net users did not agree with the findings.

"It's common to see a gap in perception between Chinese and foreign respondents, which reflects the lack of communication between China and the world," Ke Yinbin, secretary general of the Charhar Institute, told the Global Times.

Zhao Lei, a professor from the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, told the Global Times that the gap was also a result of different evaluation criteria.

"Chinese people emphasize per capita GDP while citizens from the West tend to focus on national GDP as a whole," Zhao said, adding that people tend to have higher expectations for their motherland, hence becoming pickier.

To enhance its national image, China has established Confucius Institutes around the globe to promote Chinese culture as well as language since 2004.

In 2011, China's State Council Information Office released a national image film, featuring renowned Chinese athletes and celebrities, in an effort to better introduce China to the international community. The film has been showed in various Chinese embassies.

"China's good reputation will continue to grow with more communication between China and the world. But the nation is more in need of a core value system that is attractive to foreigners which can resonate with the international community," Steven Dong, a professor from the Communication University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times.

Dong noted that the mainstream attitude in the West actually welcomes China, while previous overreactions toward negative reports overseas may have "demonized" the West and built up an impression among the Chinese that the country has a poor national image abroad. 

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