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India, China will become more important US allies: Survey

India and China will become more important US allies in the future, top foreign policy experts here said, even as growing numbers of Americans believe that US global power and prestige are in decline.



Washington: India and China will become more important US allies in the future, top foreign policy experts here said, even as growing numbers of Americans believe that US global power and prestige are in decline.

Support for US` global engagement has hit a historic low, but the reticence is not an expression of across-the-board isolationism, according to a new poll by Pew Research centre in partnership with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a US think tank specialising in foreign policy.

A record 52 per cent surveyed said "the US should mind its own business internationally," the highest recorded response in 50 years and up from 30 per cent just a decade ago.

Furthermore, a record 80 per cent believe that the US should address domestic problems over international ones.

"The public thinks that the nation does too much to solve world problems, and increasing percentages want the US to "mind its own business internationally" and pay more attention to problems here at home," the survey found.

While support for US global engagement, already near a historic low, has fallen further, support for closer trade and business ties with other nations stands at its highest point in more than a decade.

"Even as doubts grow about the US` geopolitical role, most Americans say the benefits from US participation in the global economy outweigh the risks," the survey said.

The poll, America`s Place in the World, a quadrennial survey of foreign policy attitudes, found that the public continues to express favourable opinions of a number of long-standing US allies.

While opinions about most of the 12 countries included in the survey have not changed a great deal in recent years, the balance of opinion toward India, Russia and Mexico has turned more negative.

Fewer than half (46 per cent) have a favourable impression of India while 33 per cent have an unfavourable opinion. Four years ago, 56 per cent had a favourable opinion of India and 24 per cent had an unfavourable view.

However, members of the CFR, a grouping of former diplomats, government officials and international relations specialists, hold a favourable opinion about India.

When asked to name which countries will become more important US allies in the future, more CFR members name India (37 per cent) and China (34 per cent). But far fewer see these countries as key future allies than did so four years ago (55 per cent India, 58 per cent China).

The survey is based on the opinions of over 2,000 members of the general public and over 1,500 opinion leaders.

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