Beijing: People around the world see China as "confident", "belligerent" and "arrogant", state-run media reported on Tuesday in an unusually direct survey of attitudes towards the country.
Only 13 per cent of respondents in the poll by the Global Times newspaper described China as "peaceful", a sign that Beijing`s territorial spats with its Asian neighbours have taken a toll on its image.
It also concluded that "the closer you are to China, the more likely you are to have a negative view of it".
The Global Times tends to take a nationalistic stance and is close to China`s ruling Communist Party.
With the exception of rivals such as the US or Japan, state-run media coverage of relations with other countries normally concentrates on the positive, and it is rare for criticism of China to be reported.
But in the survey of 14,400 people in 14 countries, 30.3 per cent of respondents called China "confident" in international affairs, with 29.4 per cent describing it as "belligerent", while "complicated" was chosen by 28.1 per cent.
"People also describe China with words such as `tough`, `arrogant` and `co-operative`," the paper added, with each of them chosen by about 25 per cent of respondents.
The survey was conducted last month in countries including the United States, Russia, Japan, India, Vietnam, South Korea, South Africa, Britain, the Philippines and Brazil.
It did not give details on the methodology of the study, which was carried out by the Global Times Global Poll Center, but described it as "the first political survey conducted by a Chinese media agency on a global scale as the country grows increasingly concerned about its soft power".