- China’s global image deteriorated between 2005–2018.
- Higher levels of a country’s economic development and democracy predicted a sharper decline in attitudes toward China.
- Countries where China had higher rates of foreign direct investment had a more positive perception of China.
- A larger share of China’s export to a country was correlated with unfavorable opinions of China.
As an economic powerhouse and a geopolitical center of influence, China has invested significant resources into enhancing its soft power. To this end, China has opened hundreds of Confucius Institutes, initiated the massive Belt and Road Initiative, and has expanded its health and humanitarian assistance worldwide. Public opinion about a country can be understood as one key measure of its soft power. Yet, too little is known about global attitudes toward China. Have China’s massive efforts to boost its national appeal succeeded in the eyes of the international public? What factors are associated with rising and falling views about China around the world?
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