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Special Features | National

Pinoys have better opinion of China, Russia as US rating slides to lowest in over 6 years

President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands in Beijing. (Reuters file)
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines -- Filipinos’ impression of President Rodrigo Duterte’s “BFF’s” -- China and Russia -- has improved recently, scoring a “neutral” +9 trust rating even as long-time Philippine ally the United States saw its standing slipping to +59, its lowest in six years, a Social Weather Stations survey commissioned by BusinessWorld showed.

The SWS’ latest survey on people’s trust in special countries -- which is non-commissioned -- was conducted from December 3 to 6 in face-to-face interviews that solicited the opinion of 1,500 adult respondents on five countries that figure prominently in Philippine foreign affairs: the US, Australia, Japan, China and Russia.

The poll had sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages, ±4% for Balance Luzon, and ±6% each for Metro Manila, Visayas and Mindanao.

The poll firm rates trust ratings as follows: +70 and above, "excellent"; +50 to +69, "very good"; +30 to +49, "good"; +10 to +29, "moderate", +9 to -9, "neutral"; -10 to -29, "poor"; -30 to -49, "bad"; -50 to -69, "very bad"; -70 and below, "execrable."

SWS said China’s rating was its highest in over four years since it scored a “moderate” +10 in March 2012 and “two grades up from the bad -33 in September 2016.”

“Net trust in China has been positive in only 8 out of 41 surveys since SWS first surveyed it in August 1994, reaching as high as a moderate +17 in June 2010 and as low as a bad -46 in September 2015,” the survey outfit said.

Russia’s score, on the other hand, was “a new record-high,” surpassing its previous record of -4 in March 2014. “Out of the six surveys since December 1995, net trust in Russia was neutral in three, poor in two, and bad in one,” the SWS said.

The respondents’ trust in the US, rated as “very good,” was seven points below its “very good” +66 in September last year and, according to the survey firm, was “the lowest in over six years, since the good +35 in March 2010.”

“Net trust in the United States has been positive since SWS first surveyed it in December 1994, ranging from a moderate +18 in May 2005 to an excellent +82 in December 2013,” SWS said.

Australia and Japan, meanwhile, took a "good" +37 trust rating.

For Australia, this was 10 points below September’s good +47, which also counts as good. Australia has been getting positive ratings since April 1995, “ranging from a neutral +3 in September 1995 to a very good +55 in August 2012.”

Japan’ rating, on the other hand, was up three points up from its good +34 in September “and the highest since the +47 in December 2013,” SWS said. 

Since it was first surveyed by SWS in 1994, Japan’s ratings have ranged from “neutral” -2 to +9 from December 1994 to December 1996 before rising to a “moderate” +17 in June 1997 and shifting between moderate and good since then, with the highest being +47 in August 2012 and December 2013.