An opinion poll conducted by Pew Global in 2019 found that only 23 percent of Indians view China favorably while 46 percent view China unfavorably, which is part of a larger downward trend.
Rajdeep Pakanati, Professor, Jindal School of International Affairs, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Indians from my parents’ generation have a negative perception of China. This arises from their memories of the 1962 India-China war, which was seen as a betrayal of the spirit of Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai (India and China are brothers) promoted by then-Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Chinese Communist Party chairman Mao Zedong.
While their resentment is understandable, the current generation has adopted stronger negative perceptions of China in the past few years.
It appears that three major events are contributing to this: China’s “perceived” aggressive actions along the three sectors of India-China border; China’s opposition to India’s fight against terrorism at the UN; and China’s opposition to India’s efforts to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
The younger generation in India has predominantly been Western oriented. This includes their preferences to study in the US or in Europe, consume products, watch movies and TV shows, travel for vacation and find job opportunities.
There were a total of 202,014 students from India studying in the US last year, while there are only 23,000 students from India studying in China. There are 2.65 million Indian residents in the US, and this only accounts for the documented ones.
Indians residing in China number 55,500 and their presence is limited to cosmopolitan cities such as Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, and 31,569 in Hong Kong.
Such an over-exposure to the Western and predominantly English-speaking countries is one of the main reasons for Indians to hold a generally warm and positive opinion on these countries.
The Lowy Institute’s India Poll 2013 measured the feelings of Indians towards other countries on what resembles a thermometer, showing that Indians feel very warmly toward the US at 62°, cooler toward China at 44° and very chilly toward Pakistan at 20°.
An opinion poll conducted by Pew Global last year found that only 23 percent of Indians view China favorably while 46 percent view China unfavorably, which is part of a larger downward trend.
Published in: Taipei Times
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