Thursday 26 Nov 2020 | 01:29 | SYDNEY
Thursday 26 Nov 2020 | 01:29 | SYDNEY

US Studies Poll: Warming to China, loving the UK


Fergus Hanson


11 December 2007 12:44

The University of Sydney’s US Studies Centre poll, released yesterday, has some unusual findings mixed in with the more predicable anti-American sentiment that seems to stem from Australians’ negative feelings towards the current Administration and the Iraq war.

Oddly, Australians had almost equal confidence in the US and China ‘to deal responsibly with [their] own social and economic problems’. A shocking number of Americans may be without health insurance and the US economy may be facing rocky times, but America is a far cry from China’s 300 million people living on less than US$1 a day or the 51,000 pollution related protests it experienced in 2005 as a result of wild economic growth. At the other extreme, Australians had a very soft spot for the old mother country, having more confidence in the UK to deal with its social and economic problems than they had in their own government: Blair for Australian PM?

In a question about what they liked about the US, only seven per cent of Australians identified the security dimension — ‘great and powerful friends’. They preferred the ‘people and culture’ and ‘countryside and sights’. However, as Prof Murray Goot observed, not too much should be read into this finding: when asked what they like about America, few people naturally think of security. Looking elsewhere, there is plenty of evidence Australians still value the ANZUS treaty underwriting our security.