The other five countries in the survey were Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy and Japan. A majority in each of the surveyed countries had an unfavorable opinion of China, according to the survey, which polled 14,276 adults in 14 countries between June 10 to Aug. 3 this year.
Negative sentiment increased the most in Australia, where 81% of respondents said they viewed China unfavorably — a rise of 24 percentage points from last year. In the U.S., public opinion has also increasingly turned for the worst — up 13 points since last year, and nearly 20 points since U.S. President Donald Trump took office. For both of those countries, relations with China have notably taken a turn for the worse of late.
Tensions between China and Australia have intensified in recent months, since the latter called for a global investigation into the origins of the coronavirus. The move angered Beijing, which imposed trade curbs on Australian imports. In Washington, tensions with Beijing have steadily worsened, as the world’s two largest countries spar over trade and technology, as well as how the coronavirus pandemic came about.
U.S. President Donald Trump has also been heavily criticized for his handling of the Covid-19 crisis in the U.S., after repeatedly downplaying the seriousness of the virus. As of Oct. 8, the U.S. has the most number of reported cases globally at over 7.55 million infected and accounts for more than 20% of global deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Trump himself has contracted the disease, but promptly returned to the White House despite still being infected.