Singapore is most appealing Asean member to people in China: survey

Chinese President Xi Jinping chairs the ASEAN-China Special Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations via video link in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 22, 2021. (Photo by Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via Getty Images)
Chinese President Xi Jinping chairs the Asean-China Special Summit via video link in Beijing, on 22 November 2021. (PHOTO: Xinhua via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Singapore attracts the highest level of interest among Asean members for people in China, the Global Times reported on Friday (13 May), citing a survey conducted in the world’s second largest economy.

The city-state attained a score of above 4 out of a score of 5 in terms of interest level, followed by Malaysia and Thailand, both of which scored 3.8, according to the survey by the Global Times Research Center and Centre for Chinese Foreign Strategy Studies, Renmin University of China conducted between 15 March and 15 April.

The survey was based on responses from a total of 3,162 questionnaires submitted by the Chinese public and college students.

About 61.8 per cent of the respondents said they have a good impression of Asean. Over 90 per cent of the respondents said they are interested in Asean, with the region's business and trade, technology, nature, history and sports cited as areas of interest.

Some 90 per cent of the respondents considered China-Asean relations as "friendly".

The survey also addressed the longstanding South China Sea dispute between China and several Asean members.

China claims vast tracts of the South China Sea and has built military installations in some parts of the territorial waters over the years. Taiwan, along with Asean members Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei and the Philippines, have contested China’s territorial claims in the area.

When asked "whether China and ASEAN can properly handle the South China Sea question," 67.3 per cent of the respondents believed that although there are differences, both sides can handle it properly while 26.9 per cent said the two sides can always handle it well.

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