70 percent of Arabs anticipate closer ties with China: Global Times poll


BEIJING, Dec. 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — With the world paying close attention to China-Arab relations as the two sides further promote their friendship this week, a latest poll showed that over 70 percent of more than 5,000 respondents in China and Arab countries agree with “closer China-Arab” relations in the future, while China is also chosen by most Arabs as their “friend” among major powers in the world.

This poll, which was jointly conducted by the Global Times Research Center and School of Arabic Studies of Beijing Foreign Language Studies University, was based on membership database sampling. It processed 5,100 valid questionnaires from respondents aged from 18 to 70 years old in cities across China and six Arab states – Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan and Algeria from November 8 to 25.

The questionnaires are made up of three parts – how much Chinese and Arabs know about each other; how Arabs see China-Arab relations, and how Chinese people think about bilateral relations. It included detailed questions on respondents’ attitudes toward China-Arab relations, their understanding of relations with other countries and also on the channels for the peoples to know each other and how they value future cooperation.

The poll was released against the backdrop of the China-Arab States Summit which will be attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping on December 9. Observers hailed it as a watershed moment in China-Arab ties, and both China and Arab countries are eager to take bilateral relations to new heights.

The questionnaires sent to Arab and Chinese respondents began with questions on how well they know each other. Over 70 percent of Chinese and Arab respondents believe they have some knowledge of each other, while more Arab respondents believe they are very familiar or relatively familiar with China. The poll shows that 42.8 percent of the respondents in Arab states have had contact with China, including paying visits to China or having Chinese friends.

According to the poll, Arabs are very interested in participating in bilateral educational cooperation programs. 79.1 percent of Arab respondents are interested in studying in China or participating in language and other programs provided by Confucius Institutes. According to analysts, there has been a growing trend in several Arab states of studying Chinese, and Chinese movies and TV shows are becoming popular in the region.

Nearly 60 percent of Arab respondents agree on China’s role as a builder in Arab regions, with people from Qatar and Egypt giving the highest approval rating, while more than 60 percent of Chinese respondents see Arab states as supporting and benefiting from the Belt and Road Initiative.

More than 71 percent of Arab respondents expect deeper relations with China in the future, with 43 percent anticipating expanded collaboration and 28.2 percent believing Arab countries need China’s help and cooperation in regional and global issues. The poll also finds that 44.5 percent of Arab respondents anticipate economic collaboration with China.