Essential Report

Influence of China

Jun 22, 2021

Q. Thinking about Australia’s relationship with China, how do you rate the influence of China on each of the following aspects?

  TOTAL: Positive TOTAL: Negative Very positive Somewhat positive Somewhat negative Very negative Unsure
Australia’s defence, military, and national security 26% 51% 8% 18% 24% 27% 22%
Australia’s international trade 28% 55% 8% 20% 25% 29% 17%
Australia’s culture 32% 46% 9% 24% 25% 22% 21%
Australia’s politics 21% 57% 7% 14% 28% 29% 21%
Chinese corporations and businesses operating in Australia 22% 60% 5% 17% 27% 33% 19%

 

TOTAL: Positive influence Jun’21 May’20 Aug’19
Australia’s defence, military, and national security 26% 25% 33%
Australia’s international trade 28% 28% 59%
Australia’s culture 32% 35% 43%
Australia’s politics 21% 23% 30%
Chinese corporations and businesses operating in Australia 22% 22% 41%
Base (n) 1,087 1,087 1,096

 

TOTAL: Positive influence Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Australia’s defence, military, and national security 26% 34% 19% 35% 28% 17% 27% 29% 27% 16%
Australia’s international trade 28% 34% 22% 36% 31% 18% 30% 30% 30% 15%
Australia’s culture 32% 35% 30% 36% 36% 26% 37% 33% 35% 19%
Australia’s politics 21% 27% 16% 26% 26% 12% 20% 26% 21% 13%
Chinese corporations and businesses operating in Australia 22% 28% 16% 31% 23% 12% 24% 23% 26% 11%
Base (n) 1,087 527 560 328 374 385 378 407 98 102
  • Compared to August 2019, Australians are less likely to rate China’s influence on Australia as positive – particularly in international trade (from 59% to 28%), and Chinese corporations operating in Australia (from 41% to 22%).

Most beneficial country to strengthen our relationship with

Jun 22, 2021

Q. Given the choice between the United States of America and China, with which country do you think it would be most beneficial for Australia to strengthen our relationship?

  Jun’21 May’20 Aug’19
United States of America 57% 42% 38%
China 14% 18% 28%
Neither 15% 24% 18%
Don’t know 14% 16% 15%
Base (n) 1,087 1,087 1,096
  • 57% of Australians now think it would be most beneficial to strengthen our relationship with the US, a proportion that has been increasing since August 2019.
  • Only 14% think Australia should strengthen our relationship with China over the US (a decrease from 28% in 2019). A further 15% think Australia should strengthen our relationship with neither country, and a similar proportion (14%) don’t know.
TOTAL Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
United States of America 57% 62% 52% 44% 57% 69% 55% 69% 37% 61%
China 14% 14% 13% 18% 13% 11% 16% 11% 24% 9%
Neither 15% 15% 15% 19% 17% 10% 17% 10% 19% 23%
Don’t know 14% 9% 20% 20% 13% 10% 12% 10% 21% 7%
Base (n) 1,087 527 560 328 374 385 378 407 98 102
  • Across party lines, all voters are now more likely to think we should strengthen our relationship with the US compared to last May.

Concern about military conflict with China

May 11, 2021

Q. In the past month, diplomatic tensions between Australia and China have increased, with Australia investing $750M to improve Australian Defence Force training facilities in the Northern Territory and Defence Minister Peter Dutton saying that a war with China over Taiwan should not “be discounted”.

To what extent are you concerned about Australia engaging in a military conflict with China in the near future?

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Extremely concerned 18% 18% 18% 11% 21% 21% 18% 18% 23% 17%
Very concerned 21% 22% 21% 20% 23% 21% 21% 21% 22% 27%
Fairly concerned 36% 32% 39% 43% 29% 36% 38% 35% 25% 36%
Not very concerned 19% 21% 17% 19% 20% 18% 19% 18% 25% 19%
Not at all concerned 6% 8% 5% 7% 7% 5% 4% 8% 5% 1%
TOTAL: Concerned 39% 40% 39% 31% 44% 41% 39% 39% 45% 44%
TOTAL: Not concerned 25% 28% 22% 26% 27% 23% 23% 26% 31% 21%
Base (n) 1,092 536 556 340 372 380 371 400 109 111
  • 39% of Australians are concerned about Australia engaging in a military conflict with China in the near future, with 18% extremely concerned. 36% are fairly concerned, and a quarter (25%) are not concerned.
  • Those 18-34 are less likely to be concerned about this than older cohorts (31% to 44% of those 35-54 and 41% those over 55).

Views towards trade disputes between Australia and China

Dec 15, 2020

Q. There are ongoing trade disputes between Australia and China, with China imposing high tariffs on imported Australian products.

Some people see this as a reaction from China to Australian calls for an inquiry into the origins of Covid-19 and leading international pressure on the Chinese Government’s record on human rights.

Which of the following statements is closer to you views on this issue?

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
  Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Australia is the innocent victim of Chinese assertion in restricting trade on certain products 62% 63% 61% 53% 65% 67% 59% 67% 46% 65%
Australia has made itself a target by publicly criticising the Chinese government 38% 37% 39% 47% 35% 33% 41% 33% 54% 35%
Base (n) 1,071 539 532 339 374 358 356 406 102 107
  • The majority of people think Australia is the victim of trade restrictions by China (62%), with the remainder linking the dispute to criticism of China by the Australian government (38%).
  • Those most likely to think Australian trade has been unfairly restricted include those aged over 55 (67%) and Coalition voters (67%).

Chinese Barley Tariffs

May 26, 2020

Q. Last week the Chinese government imposed tariffs on Australian barley exports, costing farmers millions of dollars through lost revenue. To what extent do you agree or disagree about the following statements about international trade with China?

  NET: Agree NET: Disagree Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neither agree, nor disagree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree Unsure
The Australian government needs to stand up to the Chinese Government and demand an open inquiry into the origins of Covid-19 66% 9% 44% 22% 14% 5% 4% 11%
The Chinese government imposed the tariffs in response to Australia leading calls for an independent inquiry into the origins of Covid-19 57% 15% 36% 20% 16% 7% 7% 13%
The Australian government needs to do all it can to avoid a trade war with China 53% 17% 28% 25% 19% 11% 7% 11%
Australia should impose tariffs on imports from China in retaliation 48% 22% 27% 21% 19% 14% 7% 12%
Australia should work towards an agreement with China to remove the tariffs on barley, whatever the conditions 47% 23% 20% 27% 19% 12% 11% 11%

 

NET: Agree   Age Group Age Group
Total 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor NET: Coalition Greens NET: Other
The Australian government needs to stand up to the Chinese Government and demand an open inquiry into the origins of Covid-19 66% 52% 66% 78% 60% 76% 59% 69%
The Chinese government imposed the tariffs in response to Australia leading calls for an independent inquiry into the origins of Covid-19 57% 46% 57% 65% 59% 66% 47% 52%
The Australian government needs to do all it can to avoid a trade war with China 53% 49% 51% 57% 58% 57% 52% 36%
Australia should impose tariffs on imports from China in retaliation 48% 39% 50% 53% 46% 54% 42% 52%
Australia should work towards an agreement with China to remove the tariffs on barley, whatever the conditions 47% 38% 48% 54% 51% 52% 42% 35%
Base (n) 1,087 341 364 382 323 428 100 120
  • Two-thirds (66%) of participants agree the Australian government needs to stand up to the Chinese Government and demand an open inquiry into the origins of Covid-19.
  • More than half of participants agree the Chinese government imposed the tariffs in response to Australia leading calls for an independent inquiry into the origins of Covid-19 (57%) or the Australian government needs to do all it can to avoid a trade war with China (53%).
  • Less than half of participants agree that Australia should impose tariffs on imports from China in retaliation (48%) or Australia should work towards an agreement with China to remove the tariffs on barley, whatever the conditions (47%).
  • Coalition voters are most likely to agree that the government needs to stand up to the Chinese Government and demand an open inquiry into the origins of Covid-19 (76%); while Labor (60%) and Greens (59%) voters are less likely to agree.

Most beneficial country to strengthen our relationship with

May 26, 2020

Q. Given the choice between the United States of America and China, which country do you think it would be most beneficial for Australia strengthen our relationship with?

    Gender Age Group
Total Male Female Labor NET: Coalition Greens NET: Other
United States of America 42% 46% 39% 36% 56% 16% 48%
China 18% 22% 15% 22% 15% 25% 15%
Neither 24% 20% 27% 29% 18% 37% 26%
Don’t know 16% 11% 19% 12% 10% 21% 10%
Base (n) 1,087 534 553 323 428 100 120

 

  May’20 Aug’19 Change
United States of America 42% 38% 4%
China 18% 28% -10%
Neither 24% 18% 6%
Don’t know 16% 15% 1%
Base 1,087 1,096
  • Now 42% of participants believe it would be more beneficial to strength our relationship with the United States of America (up 4%), but a quarter say we should strengthen our relationship with neither country (24%, up 6%).
  • Coalition voters are most likely to say we should strengthen our relationship with America (56%), while Greens voters would prefer to strengthen our relationship with neither country (37%).

Foreign investment

Aug 26, 2014

Q. Do you think investment in mining and ports by Chinese companies is good or bad for the Australian economy?

  

Total

 

 

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Vote other

Total good

38%

37%

50%

34%

29%

Total bad

36%

34%

30%

38%

52%

Very good

6%

7%

7%

4%

4%

Good

32%

30%

43%

30%

25%

Bad

22%

24%

18%

24%

28%

Very bad

14%

10%

12%

14%

24%

Don’t know

26%

29%

20%

28%

20%

38% think that investment in mining and ports by Chinese companies is good for the Australian economy and 36% think it is bad.

Liberal/National voters are more likely to think it is good for the economy (50%), while Labor and Greens voters are almost evenly divided on this issue.

Those most likely to think it is good for the economy were men (48%) and full-time workers (46%). Those most likely to think it is bad were aged 55+ (46%).

Relationships with Japan and China

Jul 15, 2014

Q. Is it more important for Australia to have a close relationship with Japan or China?

 

Total

 

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Vote Other

Relationship with Japan more important

5%

5%

8%

2%

2%

Relationship with China more important

15%

18%

15%

12%

13%

Both equally important

62%

61%

65%

72%

63%

Neither are important

5%

5%

3%

2%

12%

Don’t know

12%

11%

10%

12%

10%

62% think it is equally important to have close relationships with China and Japan. 15% think the relationship with China is more important and 5% think the relationship with Japan is more important.

21% of respondents aged under 35 and 20% of those with university education think the relationship with China is more important.

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