China's image is steadily improving, with international appreciation of its performance in domestic and foreign affairs, economic influence and cultural and high-tech hallmarks, according to a survey released Friday.
The country scored 6.22 out of 10 for its overall image, maintaining a slight upward curve in recent years, said the 2016-2017 China National Image Global Survey, which has been conducted annually since 2011.
Jointly conducted by the Center for International Communication Studies under the China Foreign Languages Publishing Administration, and Kantar Millward Brown and Lightspeed, the survey interviewed people in 22 countries, with 500 respondents from each country.
China scored 6.5 and 6.2 points for its performance in global and domestic affairs, respectively.
The three countries whose China score saw the biggest rise were Italy, Canada and the UK, though developing countries had a better impression of China generally.
People aged 18 to 35 had the best impression of China.
In terms of influence, China ranked the second to the United States, followed by Russia, Germany and the UK.
China's "Belt and Road Initiative" is recognized by a growing number of people worldwide, according to the survey.
In 2014, only 6 percent of the overseas respondents had heard of the "Silk Road economic belt" and the "21st century maritime Silk Road," the survey showed.
However, the percentage rose to 18 percent in the 2016-2017 survey and was as high as 40 percent in Indonesia, India and other countries situated along the routes.
Most of the respondents believed that the initiative is important to their countries and themselves, and those in developing countries and young people welcomed the initiative at higher rates, according to the survey.
It also showed that more than 60 percent of the surveyed recognized China's active role in the BRICS mechanism and expected it to play a more active role.
Jointly conducted by the Center for International Communication Studies under the China Foreign Languages Publishing Administration, Kantar Millward Brown and Lightspeed, citizens of 22 countries were interviewed for the survey, with 500 respondents from each country.
It also showed that more than 60 percent of those surveyed recognized China's active role in BRICS and expected it to play a more active role.
Internationally, people are generally positive about China's future, according to the report.
Those in developed and developing countries believe that China's international status and global influence will continue to grow, and that China will lead the new round of globalization and contribute more to global governance.
Among the 11,000 surveyed, 33 percent thought that China would become the world's largest economy, a large increase on previous years.
"This shows that the international community has more confidence in China's economic prospects," the survey said.
However, 36 percent say China still faces challenges such as economic disparity and environmental pollution.
The survey shows that 28 percent of foreigners plan to study, work or travel in China in the next three years.
As for the most popular cities among foreigners, Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai remain the top three, but regions that respondents plan to visit are more various than in the previous survey in 2015.
To pick a representative of Chinese culture, 52 percent chose Chinese cuisine, with almost 80 percent saying they had tried it, 72 percent of whom spoke highly of it.
Chinese medicine and martial arts also stood out as significant representatives of Chinese culture, picked by 47 and 44 percent, respectively.
About 64 percent of the respondents who said they had tried Chinese medicine gave it the thumbs up.
Economically speaking, Lenovo remains the best-known Chinese brand among foreigners, followed by Huawei and the e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba.
The survey also featured foreigners' opinions on China's sci-tech innovation, with 59 percent of the respondents commending the country's ability to innovate.
China's high-speed rail was the most widely recognized sci-tech achievement from the country.
(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)
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