What the West thinks of China

Trip Start Jan 30, 2007
Trip End Dec 31, 2011

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Flag of China  ,
Friday, September 26, 2008

A recent poll carried out the US has thrown up interesting titbits.

First, the organisation commissioning it sounds like a Chinese-government agency:

"The survey was commissioned by the Blue Ocean Network International Communications Committee, a media organization that aims to promote better understanding of China among Westerners."

Second, they said 2 million people did the survey. That seems an incredibly large number. How on earth do you interview 2 million? Or was it done via the internet? Then, they say the poll has a margin of error within 5%. Now I am no statistician, but surely if you survey 2 million punters you get a result very very close to the population you are polling??

Third, it showed that China ins known for some things, but not others. Maybe if they put in 'cheap crap' for one category that would yield a better result.

"Chinese brand names are least familiar with Americans who named Samsung, Toyota, Nissan and Nike, which are not Chinese at all. Forty-two percent of people surveyed said they could not name any Chinese brands, although 87 percent said they had used products made in China such as clothing, electronics and toys."

Forth, the survey revealed that Americans aren't that great when thinking outside their borders. Just like one-eyed Chinese really.

"Twenty-two percent of those surveyed also mentioned Singapore, which they thought was a Chinese city."

Other results, reported in China Daily were:

When asked what they most associated with China, 49 percent said the Great Wall, followed by the Beijing Olympics (36 percent), rice and food (34 percent) and dragons (32 percent).

When asked to say which words they most associated with the country, the most popular answers were "highly populated", "government or Communism", "culture or history" and "red".

The most famous Chinese people are Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Mao Zedong, Confucius, Jet Li, Yao Ming, Buddha, Lucy Liu, Genghis Khan and Chow Yun-fat, the survey found.

When asked what are the most popular Chinese dishes, nearly 60 percent said it was rice or fried rice. Others mentioned egg rolls, noodles, wonton soup, fortune cookies, egg drop soup and stir-fried food.

Asked about the most important issues in China, 39 percent said civil rights and freedom.

Others mentioned a wide range of topics such as population control, pollution, Communism and Capitalism, the economy, labor issues, sweatshops, low quality products, US debt to China and Tibet.

The survey also found that 49 percent of respondents were interested in Chinese history and culture, while 53 percent said they hoped to someday visit China.

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