Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Singapore Dream I

“The anti-Americanism that surged through much of the world over the U.S. war in Iraq shows modest signs of abating, although distinctly negative views persist in the Muslim world, and many Europeans now have a more favorable view of China than of the United States, according to a major new international poll.”
- International Herald Tribune, Friday June 24

In Bali for five days of vacation, I had a chance to read the International Herald Tribune, which used to be a staple of my Taiwan reading, but has largely given way to online reading in recent years. Still an excellent paper. Friday's edition, virtually side-by-side, ran three stories interesting for their juxtaposition. The first, "Anti-U.S. Sentiment Abates Yet Still Lingers", reported the results of a poll documenting attitudes toward the U.S.

Countries with the lowest opinion of the U.S. were Jordan, Pakistan and Turkey, with 21%, 23% and 21% respectively. India had the highest positive rating, at 71% Other positives were Poland (62%) and Britain (55%). Notable ratings were Russia (52%), France (43%) and China (43%). Comparing China and the U.S., in France the pro-China spread was 53%/43%, in Germany 46%/41%. Pakistan had the largest pro-China tilt, 79% for China, only 23% regarding the U.S. favorably. Poland, on the other hand, was 62%/36% pro-U.S. The single country where a majority believed the Iraq War had made the world a safer place was India, by 45% to 26%. Most others were lopsidedly against the war. In a poll asking "Which country is your land of opportunity?", only one country named the U.S. - you guessed it: India. The single country to name China as the land of opportunity was Pakistan. Most Europeans expressed support for the idea that the world would be a safer place if there was another power to balance the U.S., but even those who had a more favorable view of China did not want China to play this role. Lamentably, results for Taiwan, Japan and Singapore were not reported.