Researchers at Pew asked populations in different countries about which countries they saw as their biggest allies and threats.
Nearly a quarter of Americans saw Russia as the country’s greatest international threat, which put it on par with China.
One in ten Canadians named Russia as their greatest threat — but one in five said the same about the U.S.
The number of people who see Russia as the greatest threat has decreased as Putin has helped the country achieve more visibility on the international scene. Across 25 nations, 42 percent of people believed that Russia had become more influential globally; more than half of Americans concur.
Of course, this didn’t mean more people seeing Russia more positively: With the exception of India and Turkey — at 15 percent and nine percent, respectively — no more than four percent in any country named Russia as their most dependable ally.
As for China, the majority of people in most countries agree that its influence on the world stage has grown considerably, in particular seeing China as the world’s biggest economic powers alongside the U.S.
But only a median of six percent considered China their most reliable ally, compared with 27 percent who named the US.
Moreover, China is considered a threat by many neighbors: 62 percent of Filipinos, half of Japanese, 40 percent of Australians, 32 percent of South Koreans and 21 percent of Indonesians. Among the last two, the perception of China has worsened, though among the Japanese, it has gotten better.
In Canada, 32 percent of people saw China as a threat, the biggest figure for any state there.
Finally, as for the U.S., things are rosier than one would think. Many countries saw the U.S. as their biggest ally, including China’s neighbors (South Korea at 71 percent, the Philippines at 64 percent and Japan at 63 percent). Unsurprisingly, Israelis are the most enthusiastic in this regard, at 82 percent.
The caveat: Though large numbers of Canadians, Australians, and South Korean saw the U.S. as an ally, many also saw it as a big threat, making the country’s place in the world more polarizing.
Source: TRT World