China-Russia relations the most important bilateral ties with neighboring countries: GT survey
Published: Dec 25, 2020 04:42 PM

China Russia. Photo: VCG

More than half of Chinese respondents view ties with Russia the most important ones in terms of China's relations with its neighboring countries, according to a poll from the Global Times.

The poll also suggested that many Chinese also value the country's ties with Japan, and more and more people are attaching importance to ties with Southeast Asian countries. 

The online poll, conducted between December 11 to 17, gathered 1,945 responses from 16 cities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Wuhan.

Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Friday that the poll's results accurately reflect Chinese people's opinions on foreign relations. 

"The results also showed that more and more Chinese people now have a rational and more in-depth understanding of China's diplomacy and complicated international situations," he said. 

Respondents in recent years have expanded their vision globally, and focused more on China's ties with developing countries, revealed the survey. 

The proportion of respondents who believed China's ties with Southeast Asian countries are the most important bilateral relations for China has increased from 6.9 percent in 2018 to 14.8 percent in 2020. 

China's relations with its neighbors Infographic: GT


This year, 6.7 percent of respondents chose India as the country they deemed as the most influential in terms of bilateral relations for China.

Li said while a provoking India has increased its presence in China, the Chinese people have a rational view on it. "To some Chinese, the importance of the relationship with India is less than that with Southeast Asian countries."

"The role India plays in China's diplomacy cannot be compared with Southeast Asian countries. China has its strength to address the problems caused by India. India should learn to cooperate with China, rather than making confrontations which would only hurt the country the most," he said. 

According to the survey, the public opinions were divided when asked if they believed China's neighboring environment is suitable for the country's peaceful development. Nearly half (48 percent) believed that the situation is beneficial for China's peaceful rise; and 28 percent of respondents held the opposite view. 

"While the opinions varied, the mainstream opinion is still that the surrounding environment does not influence China's peaceful development." Li said.