What affects China's national image? A cross-national study of public opinion

Tao Xie*, Benjamin I. Page

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


This paper investigates macro-level sources of variations across countries regrading China's national image, as measured by the proportion of the public in each of 35 countries that expressed a favorable view of China in the 2007 Pew Global Attitudes Survey. It turns out that several expected factors have no significant measurable impact on China's image: not the extent of strategic ties between China and a given country; not the political system of that country; not the extent of Chinese investment in the country; and not the number of Confucius institutes and classrooms in that country. The only macro-level factor we find to affect China's image in a country is that country's level of economic and social development, as measured by the UN Human Development Index. Controlling for the other factors, publics in poor or developing countries are much more likely to have a favorable image of China than publics in economically advanced countries. Some implications of our findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)850-867
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Contemporary China
Issue number83
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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