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Australians fear of China’s military threat, prompting record support for the US alliance: survey

Posted by Author on May 31, 2010

By Ian McPhedran, The Courier-Mail, Australia, May 31, 2010 –

ALMOST half of Australians believe that China will become a military threat to Australia within 20 years, prompting record support for the US alliance.

According to the 2010 Lowy Institute foreign policy poll, 46 per cent of people think China will be a threat, with 19 per cent of them rating the possibility as “very likely”.

And 55 per cent of the 1001 people surveyed named China as the world’s top economic power, compared with 32 per cent for the United States.

The reality is that China is Australia’s number one trading partner, but its economy rates number four, behind the EU, US and Japan.

While 73 per cent of people regard China’s growth as good for Australia, 57 per cent said the Government had allowed too much investment from China, and 69 per cent said China’s aim was to dominate Asia.

Of those surveyed, 55 per cent wanted Australia to join with other countries to limit China’s influence.

While Australians saw America’s economic power as waning, they were still strongly supportive (86 per cent) of the Anzus Treaty and a military alliance with Uncle Sam. That was up from 63 per cent just three years ago.

Lowy Poll Project director Fergus Hanson said the results showed people were positive about China’s economic growth but fearful of its military aims.

“The two sides of the China relationship play in to the rising support for the US alliance that is evident in the poll,” Mr Hanson said……. (more details from The Courier-Mail)

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