Indians view China as friend: Survey

Majority of Indians regard China as a friend, while Chinese consider Pakistan a better partner.

Beijing: Majority of Indians regard China
as a friend and partner in sharp contrast to feeling among
Chinese who consider Pakistan a better partner and place India
next only to the US and Japan in the list of nations that
threatened their country the most, according to a new survey.

A series of surveys conducted between 2000 and 2009 in
India and China gives a glimpse of how people of the two
countries living in divergent systems perceived each other in
the period when both posted good growth rates.

The surveys conducted by Beijing-based Horizon
Research Consultancy was released the 2nd India-China Forum
meeting here today.
About 43 per cent Indians interviewed consider China
as a partner, while 23 per cent regarded it as an enemy.

"Eight per cent said they don`t know while 26 per cent
said it was difficult to identify," Yuan Yue, Chairman of the
consultancy group, said presenting the details.

Yuan left the meeting immediately after his
presentation and efforts by Indian correspondents here to
reach him were not successful.

About 4500 Chinese were surveyed annually by his firm
since 2000, he said.

"There is a consistent feeling in India that China is
a friendly country," Yuan said adding that 33 per cent Indians
said they believe China would over take US.

In sharp contrast, Chinese regard that Indians were
not as diligent as they (Chinese) are and most of the Indians
lived in poor conditions with many sleeping on footpaths,
though Chinese believe that rich Indians are richer than that
of their Chinese counterparts.

Yuan said over the years` Chinese attitude towards
India has improved but their perceptions were not high about
forging economic cooperation or friendship.

India figured only after Russia, North Korea, European
Union and Australia in Chinese perceptions. Only 2.2 per cent
Chinese regard India as the most friendly country, he said.

Japan, which was viewed poorly in Chinese perceptions
due to historic discord, figured way below India.
"If we compare with Pakistan more Chinese feel that it
was a better partner than India. About 4.9 per cent felt that
Pakistan was a better partner for China in 2009," he said.

According to him, Chinese also regard India as the
"weakest" among BRIC nations, (Brazil, Russia, India and

They also feel that Indians were not getting benefited
much out of their country`s rise as economic power.

The survey claimed that Chinese ranked the US and
Japan very high in the fields of economy, education, security
and health.

"That is why Chinese are not willing to send their
children to India for education and travel. They feel that
India is not best in those sectors," Yuan said.

Chinese also rate poorly India`s ability to deal with
the national affairs ranking it 11th in that category. However
55.9 per cent feel India is good at dealing with "national

"In terms of national leadership too India figured
poorly among Chinese perceptions as most of them do not think
that India has good leadership nor they believe that future
leadership can do better job," Yuan said.

On English, however, Chinese gave better ratings to
India compared to them saying that virtually everybody in
India knew English though they found it difficult to
understand spoken Indian English but Indians` written
English is "very good".
Chinese also believe that Indians easily adapted to
western culture because India was a "colonised" country.
Indians also have a better international structure, the
Chinese believed according to the survey.

Yuan said the Chinese poor perceptions about India
warrant the two countries to strengthen co-operation and
promote more exchanges in different fields.

It also calls for "intensification" interaction
between media of the two countries. "We need a forum for
political dialogue between two counties. We need support more
exchanges between the two countries," he said.

The two day China-India meeting which began here today
was addressed among others by Indian Ambassador to China, S
Jaishankar, former Chinese Ambassadors to India and scholars
from the two countries who specialised in Sino-Indian studies.