Public Opinion: How Chinese Citizens Feel About Other Countries
Tensions over Taiwan, the COVID-19 pandemic, trade, and the war in Ukraine have impacted Chinese sentiment towards other countries.
This visualization uses data from the Center for International Security and Strategy (CISS) at Tsinghua University to rank survey responses from the Chinese public on their attitudes towards countries and regions around the world.
Chinese Sentiment Towards Other Countries in 2023
In the Center’s opinion polls, which surveyed a random sample of more than 2,500 Chinese mainland adults in November 2022, Russia came out significantly ahead.
Just under 60% of respondents held Russia in a favorable view, with 19% seeing the country as “very favorable.” Contrast that to the mere 12% that viewed the U.S. in a positive light.
Here’s a closer look at the data. The percentages refer to the share of respondents that voted for said category.
|🇺🇸 United States||37.4%||21.7%||28.7%||9.2%||3.0%|
|🇰🇷 South Korea||17.4%||21.0%||47.6%||11.8%||2.1%|
|🇪🇺 European Union||9.3%||15.6%||57.6%||14.1%||3.3%|
Japan ranked just below the U.S. in terms of overall unfavorability, though a slightly higher share of respondents saw Japan as “very unfavorable” compared to America. This is likely due to both modern tensions in the East China Sea over mutually claimed islands and historical tensions over the Sino-Japanese Wars.
Chinese sentiment towards India was also unfavorable at just over 50%, though notably the country also received the lowest favorability rating at just 8%.
Additional Survey Findings
The survey also found that 39% of Chinese people get their information on international security from Chinese state-run media (mainly through TV), with an additional 19% getting information from government websites and official social accounts. Conversely, only 1.7% get their news from foreign websites and foreign social media, partially due to the Great Firewall.
When asked about different international security issues, the biggest shares of Chinese citizens ranked the following as their top three:
- Pandemics (12.9%)
- Disputes over territory and territorial waters (12.9%)
- China-U.S. relations (12.0%)
The pandemic’s high score reflects the harsher impact COVID-19 had on China. Chinese borders were shut for years and the public faced intense measures to reduce spread.
In terms of other world events, the majority of Chinese people align with a more “Eastern” viewpoint. For example, in regards to the war in Ukraine, the report found that:
“About 80 percent of the respondents believe the U.S. and Western countries should be held most accountable [for the war], while less than ten percent of the respondents argue that Russia is mainly responsible.”– Center for International Security and Strategy, Tsinghua University
Overall, the views of the Chinese public reflect the opposite of those found in many Western countries. They provide an important insight that it is not just the Chinese government holding particular views about the world, but the Chinese public as well.
The Frequency of Billion-Dollar Disasters in the U.S.
The Maui fire is the latest of many disasters in the U.S. And data shows that frequency of costly weather disasters has increased.
Frequency of Billion-Dollar Disasters in the U.S.
Wildfires on the Hawaiian island of Maui have had devastating effects on people, towns, and nature, and the final cost is nowhere near tallied. They are the latest of many climate disasters in the U.S.—and data shows that their frequency has been increasing.
These graphics from Planet Anomaly use tracking data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to show the average number of days between billion-dollar weather disasters in the U.S. from 1980 to 2022.
NOAA’s database examines billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in America. Total associated damages and costs for each event are adjusted for inflation using the 2023 Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Disasters are categorized as one of seven different types:
- Drought: Prolonged dry spells resulting in water shortages and reduced soil moisture.
- Flooding: Overflow of water inundating land usually due to intense rainfall or melting snow.
- Tropical Cyclone: Intense rotating storm systems known as hurricanes.
- Severe Storm: Includes windstorms and tornadoes, hail, lightning, and heavy precipitation.
- Winter Storm: Heavy snow, freezing rain, and icy conditions impacting transportation and infrastructure.
- Wildfire: Uncontrolled fires consuming vast areas of forests and vegetation.
- Freezes: Sub-zero temperatures damaging crops and infrastructure, such as pipes or energy lines.
The average days between billion-dollar disasters are calculated from the start dates of adjacent events within a single year.
Days Between Billion-Dollar Disasters in the U.S. (1980‒2022)
Between 1980 and 2022, there were 155 total disasters in the U.S. that cost more than a billion dollars in damages when adjusted for inflation.
And when looking at the average number of days between these billion-dollar events within each year, we can see the decades becoming more and more costly:
|Year||Avg. Days Between Disasters|
Back in the early 1980s, the average interval between these major disasters (within each year) was 75 days. Even more starkly, 1987 had no climate disasters that topped $1 billion in damages, while 1988 only had one.
Fast forward to 2022, and that average window has drastically reduced to a mere 20 days between billion-dollar disasters in the United States.
Breaking Down Billion-Dollar Disasters by Type
Of the 155 disasters tracked through 2022, the majority have been in the form of severe storms including tornadoes, windstorms, and thunderstorms.
The worst severe storms include an outbreak of tornadoes in April 2011 across many central and southern states, with an estimated 343 tornadoes causing a total of $14 billion in CPI-adjusted damages. In August 2020, a powerful derecho—a widespread and intense windstorm characterized by straight-line winds—devastated millions of acres of crops across the Midwest and caused $13 billion in adjusted damages.
But the most expensive disasters so far have been hurricanes. Eight hurricanes top the inflation-adjusted damages charts, with Hurricane Katrina’s unprecedented devastation in 2005 leading with a staggering $194 billion.
Will the U.S. be prepared for more costly disasters going forward? And will climate change continue to accelerate the pace of weather disasters in the U.S. even more?
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