China ‘Delighted to See’ It Tops U.S. in Popularity in Arab Countries Poll

China has exulted in a recent poll showing the nation’s favorability was roughly twice that of the United States across six Arab countries.

“I’m delighted to see the survey, which, I believe, reflects the considerable public support for China-Arab friendship,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Thursday during the first press conference to be held following week-long Lunar New Year celebrations.

The study was published last month by the Arab Barometer research network and includes data gathered from last October as part of the “Wave VI” research series. It covers Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia.

“The survey results make clear that Arab publics prefer China,” Princeton University‘s Michael Robbins, director of the Arab Barometer, said in his report accompanying the survey.

“China is viewed favorably by half or more in three countries – Algeria (60 percent), Morocco (52 percent) and Tunisia (50 percent) – while a third or more have a positive view in Lebanon (43 percent), Jordan (35 percent) and Libya (34 percent),” he writes. “By comparison, fewer than a third have a favorable view of the U.S. in all six countries, ranging from a high of 28 percent in Morocco to a low of 14 percent in Libya.”

And while both Hua and Robbins took note of this trend, they did not necessarily agree on the driving factors behind it…

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