Apr 7, 2020 - World

Poll: Desire in China for U.S.-style democracy plunges

Chinese views of the U.S. have soured dramatically over the past year, according to polling from the Eurasia Group Foundation.

Adapted from Eurasia Group Foundation; Chart: Axios Visuals
Adapted from Eurasia Group Foundation; Chart: Axios Visuals

By the numbers: Most respondents in the 2019 survey said they’d like to see China’s system of government become much or somewhat more like America’s over the next 20 years. Respondents one year later were about half as likely to feel that way, and twice as likely to want China’s system to become much less like America’s.

  • Respondents were split over whether they approve of American ideas of democracy, with 21% disapproving (up from 16% in 2019), 28% approving (down from 44%) and 52% neutral.

Between the lines: The 2020 survey was conducted between Feb. 15 and March 3, when China was in the midst of its coronavirus crisis but the pandemic had not yet hit the U.S. with full force.

  • The authors point to the U.S.-China trade war and America’s support for protests in Hong Kong as likely causes of the shift.

Our thought bubble via Axios China reporter Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian: “It's been a long project of the [Chinese Communist Party] to get Chinese people turned off to the idea of democracy. For a long time, it was an uphill battle. That’s less and less the case these days."

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