Saturday 30 May 2020 | 07:14 | SYDNEY
Saturday 30 May 2020 | 07:14 | SYDNEY

China poll on investment and education


Fergus Hanson


1 December 2009 08:47

The Lowy Institute will tomorrow release its first opinion poll conducted in China, but today we're releasing two findings on Chinese attitudes towards foreign investment and education abroad.

The poll uses a methodology developed by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs — a world leader in polling — and produced some intriguing results.

Here in Australia, investment by Chinese state-owned firms has sparked a decent amount of controversy, including over the arrest of Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu after a Chinese state-owned firm failed to buy a stake in the mining giant. And our 2008 Lowy Poll (p. 6) showed just how resistant Australians are to Chinese-state-owned investment in major Australian companies.

It turns out the Chinese aren't that keen either when the tables are turned. 

Asked how they would feel if companies controlled by five different governments tried to buy controlling stakes in major Chinese firms, only investment from the Singaporean Government secured majority support from the Chinese public. The Chinese people were divided over investment coming from the Australian and Canadian Governments, while large majorities were against sovereign investment coming from the US and Japan:


On education, Australia did better.

Seventy-eight per cent of the Chinese public said Australia was a good place in which to be educated. But when it came to ranking five countries as the best or second-best place in which to be educated, Australia was well behind the US and UK. That suggests Australian education still lags in the perceived quality stakes, but also shows that the prospect of a US education retains powerful attraction in China.


The Lowy Institute China Poll was conducted by telephone in China between 29 August and 13 September 2009, using a sample of 1200 adults randomly selected from urban and nearby rural communities. The full results will be available on our website tomorrow.