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China, Russia soar as US emerges as democracy’s ‘skunk of the world’

Alameen Templeton

The United States has plummeted in global approval ratings, while competitors Russia and China have soared, the latest Democracy Perception Index says.

Although the US and EU are still viewed in a positive light, their rankings are sagging. China has moved from a negative perception to a slightly positive one.

Russia is still in the negative rankings, but its position is also improving.

More importantly, in Arabia, Russia and China are now neck-and-neck with the US and EU.

“US popularity has taken a hit globally in 2024, particularly in MENA countries but also in Europe. At the same time, attitudes towards China and Russia have become more positive all around the world outside of Europe and the US.

“While the United States remains more positively viewed globally, Russia and China are now seen as positively as the United States in most MENA and Asian countries surveyed.”

The survey was conducted by German firm Latana on behalf of the Alliance of Democracies with some 63,000 respondents from 53 countries.

Tracking perceptions of the US over three years, it rose from a ranking of 22 in 2022 to 27 in 2023 before sagging back to 22 this year. The EU rose to 35 last year from 32 in 2022. It has now fallen back to 34.

The UN registered 30 in 2022, 34 in 2023 and 30 this year.

China hit zero last year, emerging from negative territory in 2022 and is now rising higher at 5, an improvement of nine points.

Russia has advanced the most out of the “big powers”, improving 18 points since 2022, showing steady, upward growth, from -32 to -19 to its current -14.

Attitudes towards the EU have become more negative in a handful of countries since 2023, particularly in many Muslim-majority countries (Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia), but also Poland and Ukraine.

The EU is at plus one in South Africa.

US popularity took a significant, negative turn in many Muslim-majority countries in the last year. For instance, it fell 20 points in Morocco, 19 points in Egypt, 13 in Algeria, 24 points in Malysia, 27 points in Turkiye and 27 points in Indonesia.

Germany, Ireland and Switzerland also turned their backs on the US; all are now net negative to America.

Frederick DeVeaux, a senior researcher at Latana, said this is “the first time since the start of the Biden administration” that Western European countries have returned to net negative on the United States.

The US is at minus 3 in South Africa, at minus 7 in Nigeria and plus 2 in Kenya.

The researchers said the decline was due to US President Joe Biden’s unwavering support for “Israel” during its war on the Gaza Strip, Al Mayadeen reported.

Significantly, the survey emphasised that only Europe and the United States are advocating for severing economic ties with Russia over the Ukraine conflict, while the rest of the world favours maintaining economic relations with Moscow.

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