China's leadership gains admirers in almost all countries
Within its own region, Asia, median approval of China's leadership is 34%, and in the Americas and Europe, it gets approval ratings of 30% and 28%, respectively.
All these numbers are up modestly since 2017. On a country level, approval of Chinese leadership increased by 10 percentage points or more in 14 countries between 2017 and 2018.
These countries represent a mix of regions including some of its own neighbors such as Mongolia. But this list also included U.S. neighbor Mexico, where trade relations warmed in 2018 as the U.S. and Mexico continued to wrangle over NAFTA.
Approval ratings declined by 10+ percentage points in only four countries, including 15- and 16-point drops in Kazakhstan and Cambodia, respectively. The change in Cambodia likely has economic origins. However, for Kazakhstan, the decline in approval is likely related to China's treatment of the country's Uyghur ethnic group living in China.
China's leadership remains a great unknown to many around the world. A median of 30% worldwide report they do not know enough about Chinese leadership to rate it. In the Americas, the percentage of the population without an opinion on Chinese leadership is highest, with 36% saying they don't know enough to form an opinion about the issue. ■