Palace believes Filipinos will 'eventually appreciate' China amid low trust ratings
In this Aug. 30, 2019 photo, President Rodrigo Duterte is welcomed by Chinese President Xi Jinping upon his arrival at the National Aquatics Center in Beijing for the opening ceremony of the FIBA Basketall World Cup 2019.
Presidential Photo/Robertson Niñal Jr.
Palace believes Filipinos will 'eventually appreciate' China amid low trust ratings
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - November 21, 2019 - 10:14am

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang said it believes Filipinos will eventually appreciate China despite a survey showing that Beijing's trust rating in the country has dropped.

A Social Weather Stations survey released Wednesday showed that China is the least trusted country by Filipinos with a "bad" net trust of -33.

China's net trust dropped by 9 points from -24 in June, becoming the lowest since June 2018.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Malacañang is not surprised nor does it feel affronted with the survey results.

"The results of the survey conducted from September 27 to 30 are foreseeable and understandable given the conflicting positions of China and our country relative to the West Philippine Sea," Panelo said Thursday.

Reiterating that the maritime dispute is not the sum total of the country's relationship with China, Panelo said Malacañang would not force any Filipino to change his or her sentiments toward Beijing.

"It is in our belief, however, that China, like any other country, will be eventually appreciated by the Filipinos by reason of the president's independent foreign policy which has resulted in significant benefits favorable to the Philippines," Panelo said.

According to Panelo, China might become the Philippines' role model in reducing poverty.

Greg Poling, director of Washington-based Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, noted that Filipino's distrust on China remains the same after Duterte's three years in office.

"After 3 years of Duterte's pro-Beijing rhetoric, continued Chinese coercion at sea, and empty economic promises, Filipinos distrust China as much as they did when he took office," Poling said on Twitter.

China's net trust rating was at -24 in June 2016 before Duterte assumed office. This further dropped to -33 in September 2016.

The September 2019 survey found that among six countries tested for public trust, the United States remains the most trusted with an "excellent" net trusting of +72.

Australia scored a "good" +35 followed by Japan with +35, Singapore with a "moderate" +26 and Vietnam with a "neutral" net zero.

The survey was conducted from September 27 to 30 using face-to-face interviews among 1,800 adults nationwide. Sampling error margins are at ±2.3% for national percentages, ±4% each for Balance Luzon and Mindanao and ±6% each for Metro Manila and the Visayas.

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