CAIRO (Xinhua) – A recently released major Arab public opinion survey has shown that 58 percent of Arabs hold negative views on U.S. foreign policy toward the Arab world, while over half hold positive views toward China’s foreign policy.
The 2019-2020 Arab Opinion Index, the seventh in a series of yearly Arab public opinion surveys done by the Doha-based Arab Center for Research & Policy Studies, was based on the findings of face-to-face interviews conducted between November 2019 and September 2020 with 28,000 individuals in 13 Arab countries.
The survey found that the Arab public’s most negative foreign policy evaluation is of the United States, with 58 percent of respondents holding negative views of U.S. foreign policy toward Arab countries.
At the same time, 81 percent of the respondents regard the United States as a foreign threat to the Arab world, according to the survey.
In comparison, 55 percent of the respondents hold positive views on China’s foreign policy toward Arab countries.
When asked to look at specific U.S. foreign policy areas, vast majorities of Arabs have negative views on U.S. policies toward Palestine (81 percent), Syria (81 percent), Yemen, and Libya (72 percent each).
Mohammad Almasri, the center’s executive director, said in an interview with Xinhua on Wednesday that China’s fair stand on issues involving the Middle East helped contribute to the survey’s positive results.
"China’s support for the Palestinian cause and non-interference in Mideast internal affairs and conflicts have earned a good reputation,” said Almasri, adding that many participants in the survey want China to play a bigger role to offset the negative influences of some Western countries.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Tuesday at a daily news briefing that "this poll shows that justice lies in the hearts of the people.”
Although some U.S. politicians are sparing no effort to shirk blame and take advantage of various problems to stigmatize and vilify China, what is right cannot be wronged and what is wrong will always be wrong, he said.
China’s relationship with Arab countries, deeply rooted in the hearts of the people, is going from strength to strength with the passing of time, Zhao said.
In the face of the sudden outbreak of the pandemic, China and Arab countries have been helping each other with great sense of shared future and solidarity, setting a good example in the global fight against the pandemic and in the building of a China-Arab community with a shared future, the spokesman said.
"China is willing to work with Arab countries to continue to uphold solidarity and cooperation and jointly advocate peace, friendship and cooperation, thus benefiting the Chinese and Arab people and injecting more positive energy into safeguarding multilateralism and international fairness and justice,” Zhao said.