Jordanians tied in views on US, China

us china
(Photo: Envato Elements)
AMMAN — A new poll by Arab Barometer has revealed that China surpasses the US in popularity amongst the people of at least seven Arab countries. اضافة اعلان

The results, published on Arab Barometer’s website, showed that only in Morocco, which had the highest opinions of both countries, did respondents have a slightly more favorable view of the US, 69 percent, than China, 64 percent.

In Jordan, the survey showed that they were tied at 51 percent each.

In Lebanon, China achieved the same figure, 51 percent, in Lebanon, but the US came at 42 percent, nine points below.

Arab Barometer, a nonpartisan research network based at Princeton University that has been conducting high-level polling in the Middle East and North Africa since 2006, conducted the survey based on nearly 23,000 interviews across Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Palestinian territories, Tunisia, and Sudan between October 2021 and April 2022, with a margin of error of about two points in each country.

Jordanians and Palestinians are now 20 points less likely to favor closer economic ties with China, compared with a 14-point decline in Morocco and Sudan, a 13-point decline in Libya, and a five-point decline in Lebanon.

Although Middle East and North Africa citizens have a favorable view of China overall, they are somewhat less likely to say that they want stronger economic relations with the country. Only in four of the nine countries surveyed do at least 50 percent prefer closer economic relations, with support being greatest in Tunisia at 63 percent, Iraq at 53 percent, and Jordan and Libya both at 50 percent.

However, unlike for China, support for closer economic relations with the US has not experienced widespread decline across the region since 2018–19. Only in Palestine (-10 points) and Jordan (-9 points) have experienced meaningful declines.

It also appears that citizens in the MENA region are somewhat less suspicious of Chinese assistance compared with American assistance. Citizens in Iraq are 15 points more likely to say the motivation of the US in providing aid is to gain influence compared with China. Similar gaps are found in Lebanon (12 points), Tunisia (10 points), and Jordan (eight points).

At the same time, a US-based company was also viewed as the most likely to take bribes to secure a contract in six of eight countries surveyed. In fact, in Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon, citizens are more than twice as likely to say a US company will pay bribes compared with a company from any other country listed.

Another measure of economic engagement is the country of origin that would pay the best salaries to the local workforce. In this regard, a US-based company comes out far ahead. In six of the eight countries surveyed, an American company is seen as paying the best salaries, ranging from a majority, 54 percent in Jordan to 29 percent in Lebanon and Tunisia.

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