Over 60 per cent of Singaporeans, Malaysians confident in Xi Jinping: poll

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Chinese President Xi Jinping has a video call with U.S. President Joe Biden at the latter's request in Beijing, capital of China, March 18, 2022. (PHOTO: XINHUA VIA GETTY IMAGES)
Chinese President Xi Jinping has a video call with U.S. President Joe Biden at the latter's request in Beijing, capital of China, March 18, 2022. (PHOTO: XINHUA VIA GETTY IMAGES)

SINGAPORE — Over 60 per cent of Singaporeans and Malaysians said in a recent global survey that they are "confident" in Chinese President Xi Jinping "to do the right thing regarding world affairs", contrary to views held in other countries.

And while most global respondents in the Pew Research Centre survey expressed little trust in Russian President Vladimir Putin, nearly 60 per cent of Malaysians polled said they had confidence in him. Singapore also stood out, with nearly 40 per cent of respondents expressing confidence in Putin.

The global median was only 18 per cent for Xi, and just 9 per cent for Putin.

The survey titled International Attitudes Toward the US, NATO and Russia in a Time of Crisis was published online last week.

It involved mostly phone or online polling from 14 February to 11 May, with most of the poll taking place after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which began on 24 February.

The survey included data from 18 countries: Canada, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, Israel, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea.

According to the survey, 69 per cent of Singaporeans and 62 per cent of Malaysians said they were confident in Xi.

Meanwhile, 59 per cent of Malaysians and 36 per cent of Singaporeans were confident in Putin.

Most Singaporeans and Malaysians said they were confident in Chinese President Xi Jinping doing the right thing in world affairs, contrary to views in other countries. Singapore and Malaysia also stood out for their views on Putin.
Most Singaporeans and Malaysians said they were confident in Chinese President Xi Jinping doing the right thing in world affairs, contrary to views in other countries. Singapore and Malaysia also stood out for their views on Putin.

Fewer Singaporeans confident in Biden

The Pew survey also found that international public opinion of the US remained positive. A median of 61 per cent across the countries surveyed have a "favourable" view of the US, while only 35 per cent have an "unfavourable" view.

But Malaysia stood out, with over half of its respondents — 57 per cent — having an unfavourable view of the country.

Singapore and Greece came in second with 48 per cent of respondents having a negative view of the US.

Along with a positive opinion of the US, most global respondents also have trust in President Joe Biden; a median of 60 per cent of global respondents said they have confidence in him to do the right thing in world affairs.

But Singapore stood out with fewer respondents having trust in Biden than those who do not. A total of 51 per cent of Singaporeans said they had no confidence in Biden, compared with 48 per cent who had confidence.

Decline in favourable views towards Russia

The Pew survey also found that favourability for Russia has dropped by double digits in nearly every country where it has trend data available.

And in almost every country surveyed, at least 70 per cent of respondents have an unfavourable opinion of Russia; Malaysia is the only exception, where half have an unfavourable view of Russia.

Poles are especially critical of Russia with 97 per cent having an unfavourable opinion, including 91 per cent with a "very unfavourable" view.

Only 27 per cent of Singapore respondents have a "very favourable" or "somewhat favourable" view of Russia; 70 per cent have a "somewhat unfavourable" or "very unfavourable" view of the country.

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