Despite the declining trust in China among Filipinos, Malacanñang still believes that this will eventually change as Manila and Beijing’s improved ties are reportedly set to bring economic benefits to both nations.
A Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released Wednesday showed that 54% of Filipinos have little trust in China, resulting in “poor” net trust of -33, which is nine points lower from the “bad” net trust of -24 in June 2019.
SWS noted that September’s net trust rating is at the lowest since June 2018’s “bad” -35 rating.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said it was not surprising to see China as the least trusted country among Filipinos, noting that the result was “foreseeable” and “understandable” given the current maritime dispute between the country and the Philippines.
“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,” he said in a statement.
Since the first survey conducted on the East Asian country in August 1994, China has only gotten a positive net trust in nine out of 51 surveys — with the highest net trust rating being a “moderate” +17 in June 2010, while the lowest was a “bad” -46 in September 2015.
Panelo also said that the Palace respects the views of Filipinos who do not trust China and reportedly would not “court nor force any citizen to change his or her sentiments toward our giant neighbor in the north.”
“China could even become a role model of the Philippines in reducing, if not totally eradicating, poverty,” he added.
While China ranked the lowest among the six countries tested for public trust, the United States came out as the country most trusted with an “excellent” net trusting of +72. This was followed by Australia (+37), Japan (+35), Singapore (+26) and Vietnam (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.