Africans welcome China's growing economic power: survey

Reuters, Monday 28 Mar 2011

BBC poll shows China's influence viewed positively across Africa

The prospect of growing Chinese economic clout is welcomed in all African countries, in contrast to other parts of the world where attitudes are either negative or divided, a poll showed on Sunday.

Asked how they view the possibility of an economically far stronger China, around four in five Nigerians and Kenyans said they looked forward to such an outcome, according to the survey of more than 28,000 people in 27 countries commissioned by the BBC World Service.

"All African countries view China's increasing economic power positively," the survey report said.

Sub-Saharan Africa was also home to the very few countries worldwide where most people would be happy about China boosting its military might.

China is investing large amounts of money and technical expertise in African countries, seeking a reliable source of raw materials to sustain its economic growth.

Globally, half of all respondents favoured the prospect of a wealthier China and only a third believed it would be unwelcome. The split was little changed from the previous poll in 2005.

However, in North America, the majority would view such a development warily, and more so than six years ago.

Unfavourable views of China's economic influence rose in neighbouring Japan, South Korea and Russia.

Overall, people expected China will be a more important economic partner to their respective countries than the United States or the European Union in 10 years.

Interviews were conducted between December and February.


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