Australia’s Global Relations

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This year’s Poll revisited the question of who is Australia’s ‘best friend in the world’, and asked Australians about their trust in various global powers to act responsibly in the world.

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Australia’s Global Relations

AUSTRALIANS’ TRUST IN GLOBAL POWERS

Although Australians remain generally positive about America and the US alliance, the election of Donald Trump as US president has coincided with a steep erosion in Australians’ trust of the United States. Only 20% (down 20 points since this question was last asked in 2011) have a ‘great deal’ of trust in the United States ‘to act responsibly in the world’. Overall, 61% (down 22 points since 2011) trust the United States either ‘somewhat’ or a ‘great deal’ to act responsibly in the world. By comparison, 90% of Australians have the same level of trust in the United Kingdom, 86% trust Germany, and the same number trust Japan. The United States ranks with India (64%) in Australians’ level of trust, somewhat ahead of China (54%) and Indonesia (52%). Russia has squandered Australians’ trust over the last six years, with only 38% (down 15 points) now saying they trust Russia to act responsibly in the world. A negligible 12% trust North Korea.

AUSTRALIA’S BEST FRIEND IN THE WORLD

Australians continue to lean towards the Anglosphere in 2017. Revisiting a question first asked in 2014, we asked Australians to identify ‘Australia’s best friend in the world’. New Zealand is regarded as our best friend in the world by far, with 53% (up 21 points since 2014) nominating our close neighbour as ‘Australia’s best friend’ of the six countries polled. The United States, which three years ago shared equal first place with New Zealand, has shifted to equal second place, tying with the United Kingdom as ‘best friend’ for 17% of Australians.

However, the United States has halved its support among Australians in this year’s Poll. The 17% who say the United States is Australia’s best friend is down 18 points since 2014.

China, which in our 2016 Poll established a clear lead over Japan as Australia’s ‘best friend in Asia’, ranks a distant fourth, with only 8% saying China is our best friend in the world. Two per cent see Japan and 1 per cent see Indonesia as Australia’s best friend in the world.

AUSTRALIA’S BEST FRIEND IN ASIA

When we asked Australians to identify ‘Australia’s best friend in Asia’ in our 2016 Poll, China established a clear lead over Japan: 30% said China is our best friend in Asia, compared with 25% nominating Japan. This is a clear shift from 2014 when we last posed this question. China and Japan ranked equally that year, with 31% nominating China and 28% Japan as Australia’s best friend in Asia, in a statistically equivalent result.

Among younger Australians, China had an even clearer lead in 2016: 36% of 18-44 year olds saw China as our best friend in Asia while only 21% of that age group regarded Japan as Australia’s best friend in Asia.

In another clear shift, Indonesia overtook Singapore and came third in the 2016 ‘best friend’ stakes. It was seen by 15% of Australians as our best friend in Asia, an increase of six points from 2014 when it held fourth place behind Singapore. Singapore came in at fourth, with 12% seeing it as Australia’s best friend in Asia. India and South Korea were further behind, with 6% and 4% of the population, respectively, seeing them as our best friend in Asia.

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Trust in countries

How much do you trust the following countries to act responsibly in the world?


  • HOW TO USE
    • Hover cursor over chart segments to view data. Click responses in the legend to switch individual results on and off.

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Australia’s Global Relations

AUSTRALIANS’ TRUST IN GLOBAL POWERS

Although Australians remain generally positive about America and the US alliance, the election of Donald Trump as US president has coincided with a steep erosion in Australians’ trust of the United States. Only 20% (down 20 points since this question was last asked in 2011) have a ‘great deal’ of trust in the United States ‘to act responsibly in the world’. Overall, 61% (down 22 points since 2011) trust the United States either ‘somewhat’ or a ‘great deal’ to act responsibly in the world. By comparison, 90% of Australians have the same level of trust in the United Kingdom, 86% trust Germany, and the same number trust Japan. The United States ranks with India (64%) in Australians’ level of trust, somewhat ahead of China (54%) and Indonesia (52%). Russia has squandered Australians’ trust over the last six years, with only 38% (down 15 points) now saying they trust Russia to act responsibly in the world. A negligible 12% trust North Korea.

AUSTRALIA’S BEST FRIEND IN THE WORLD

Australians continue to lean towards the Anglosphere in 2017. Revisiting a question first asked in 2014, we asked Australians to identify ‘Australia’s best friend in the world’. New Zealand is regarded as our best friend in the world by far, with 53% (up 21 points since 2014) nominating our close neighbour as ‘Australia’s best friend’ of the six countries polled. The United States, which three years ago shared equal first place with New Zealand, has shifted to equal second place, tying with the United Kingdom as ‘best friend’ for 17% of Australians.

However, the United States has halved its support among Australians in this year’s Poll. The 17% who say the United States is Australia’s best friend is down 18 points since 2014.

China, which in our 2016 Poll established a clear lead over Japan as Australia’s ‘best friend in Asia’, ranks a distant fourth, with only 8% saying China is our best friend in the world. Two per cent see Japan and 1 per cent see Indonesia as Australia’s best friend in the world.

AUSTRALIA’S BEST FRIEND IN ASIA

When we asked Australians to identify ‘Australia’s best friend in Asia’ in our 2016 Poll, China established a clear lead over Japan: 30% said China is our best friend in Asia, compared with 25% nominating Japan. This is a clear shift from 2014 when we last posed this question. China and Japan ranked equally that year, with 31% nominating China and 28% Japan as Australia’s best friend in Asia, in a statistically equivalent result.

Among younger Australians, China had an even clearer lead in 2016: 36% of 18-44 year olds saw China as our best friend in Asia while only 21% of that age group regarded Japan as Australia’s best friend in Asia.

In another clear shift, Indonesia overtook Singapore and came third in the 2016 ‘best friend’ stakes. It was seen by 15% of Australians as our best friend in Asia, an increase of six points from 2014 when it held fourth place behind Singapore. Singapore came in at fourth, with 12% seeing it as Australia’s best friend in Asia. India and South Korea were further behind, with 6% and 4% of the population, respectively, seeing them as our best friend in Asia.

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Best friend in the world

In your personal opinion, which one of the following countries is Australia’s best friend?


  • HOW TO USE
    • Hover cursor over chart segments to view data. Click responses in the legend to switch individual results on and off.

close

Australia’s Global Relations

AUSTRALIANS’ TRUST IN GLOBAL POWERS

Although Australians remain generally positive about America and the US alliance, the election of Donald Trump as US president has coincided with a steep erosion in Australians’ trust of the United States. Only 20% (down 20 points since this question was last asked in 2011) have a ‘great deal’ of trust in the United States ‘to act responsibly in the world’. Overall, 61% (down 22 points since 2011) trust the United States either ‘somewhat’ or a ‘great deal’ to act responsibly in the world. By comparison, 90% of Australians have the same level of trust in the United Kingdom, 86% trust Germany, and the same number trust Japan. The United States ranks with India (64%) in Australians’ level of trust, somewhat ahead of China (54%) and Indonesia (52%). Russia has squandered Australians’ trust over the last six years, with only 38% (down 15 points) now saying they trust Russia to act responsibly in the world. A negligible 12% trust North Korea.

AUSTRALIA’S BEST FRIEND IN THE WORLD

Australians continue to lean towards the Anglosphere in 2017. Revisiting a question first asked in 2014, we asked Australians to identify ‘Australia’s best friend in the world’. New Zealand is regarded as our best friend in the world by far, with 53% (up 21 points since 2014) nominating our close neighbour as ‘Australia’s best friend’ of the six countries polled. The United States, which three years ago shared equal first place with New Zealand, has shifted to equal second place, tying with the United Kingdom as ‘best friend’ for 17% of Australians.

However, the United States has halved its support among Australians in this year’s Poll. The 17% who say the United States is Australia’s best friend is down 18 points since 2014.

China, which in our 2016 Poll established a clear lead over Japan as Australia’s ‘best friend in Asia’, ranks a distant fourth, with only 8% saying China is our best friend in the world. Two per cent see Japan and 1 per cent see Indonesia as Australia’s best friend in the world.

AUSTRALIA’S BEST FRIEND IN ASIA

When we asked Australians to identify ‘Australia’s best friend in Asia’ in our 2016 Poll, China established a clear lead over Japan: 30% said China is our best friend in Asia, compared with 25% nominating Japan. This is a clear shift from 2014 when we last posed this question. China and Japan ranked equally that year, with 31% nominating China and 28% Japan as Australia’s best friend in Asia, in a statistically equivalent result.

Among younger Australians, China had an even clearer lead in 2016: 36% of 18-44 year olds saw China as our best friend in Asia while only 21% of that age group regarded Japan as Australia’s best friend in Asia.

In another clear shift, Indonesia overtook Singapore and came third in the 2016 ‘best friend’ stakes. It was seen by 15% of Australians as our best friend in Asia, an increase of six points from 2014 when it held fourth place behind Singapore. Singapore came in at fourth, with 12% seeing it as Australia’s best friend in Asia. India and South Korea were further behind, with 6% and 4% of the population, respectively, seeing them as our best friend in Asia.

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2016: Best Friend in Asia

In your personal opinion, which one of the following countries is Australia’s best friend in Asia?


  • HOW TO USE
    • Hover cursor over chart segments to view data. Click responses in the legend to switch individual results on and off.