Influence of China

Aug 19, 2019

Q. Thinking about Australia’s relationship with China, how do you rate the influence of China on each of the following aspects?

  Very positive Somewhat positive Somewhat negative Very negative Unsure
Australia’s defence, military, and national security 10% 23% 27% 17% 22%
Australia’s international trade 19% 40% 18% 9% 15%
Australia’s culture 11% 32% 27% 12% 18%
Australia’s politics 8% 22% 32% 16% 21%
Chinese corporations and businesses operating in Australia 10% 31% 25% 19% 16%
  • Almost one fifth of participants (19%) believe that China has a very positive influence on Australia’s defence, military and national security, with another 23% providing a somewhat positive rating.
  • Nearly one in five participants thought that China’s influence on Chinese corporations and businesses operating in Australia was very negative (19%).
  • Another one-fifth were unsure about China’s influence on Australian politics (21%).
  • Broadly, those aged 18-34 years old, on high household incomes, in paid employment or with university education were more positive about China’s influence on Australia.

Australia’s defence, military, and national security

  Total Gender Age
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
Very positive 10% 11% 8% 18% 8% 5%
Somewhat positive 23% 25% 22% 32% 24% 15%
Somewhat negative 27% 30% 25% 22% 26% 32%
Very negative 17% 19% 15% 7% 15% 28%
Unsure 22% 15% 30% 22% 26% 20%
Base (n) 1,096 536 560 347 364 385
  • Those aged between 18-34 years old (18%) or in paid employment (14%) were more likely to believe that China had a very positive impact on Australia’s defence, military, and national security than those over 35 years old (7%) or in other employment groups (6%).
  • Participants without dependent children were more likely to think that believe that China had a very negative impact on Australia’s defence, military, and national security (20%) than those with dependent children (12%).

Australia’s international trade

  Total Gender Age
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
Very positive 19% 23% 15% 26% 17% 14%
Somewhat positive 40% 44% 36% 40% 38% 42%
Somewhat negative 18% 17% 19% 15% 18% 21%
Very negative 9% 7% 10% 6% 9% 10%
Unsure 15% 8% 21% 14% 18% 12%
Base (n) 1,096 536 560 347 364 385
  • Male participants were more likely to say that China had a very positive impact on Australia’s international trade (23%) than females (15%).
  • Participants aged between 18-34 years old were more likely to think that China had a very positive impact on Australia’s international trade (26%) than those over 35 (15%).
  • Similarly, those in paid employment or a high household income (23% and 25% respectively) more likely to think that China had a very positive impact on Australia’s international trade than those in other employment states (14%) or with lower or mid-household incomes (17%).
  • Participants with university education were also more likely to say that China had a very positive impact on Australia’s international trade (24%) than those with only a secondary school education (11%).

Australia’s culture

  Total Gender Age
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
Very positive 11% 13% 9% 19% 10% 6%
Somewhat positive 32% 32% 32% 38% 30% 29%
Somewhat negative 27% 29% 24% 22% 26% 32%
Very negative 12% 14% 10% 4% 12% 20%
Unsure 18% 11% 24% 17% 23% 13%
Base (n) 1,096 536 560 347 364 385
  • Younger participants (aged 18-34 years old, 19%) were more likely to say China had a very positive influence on Australia’s culture than those over 35 (8%).
  • Those in paid employment (15%) or university education (16%) were more likely to say China had a very positive influence on Australia’s culture than those in other employment groups (7%) or with less education (9%).

Australia’s politics

  Total Gender Age
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
Very positive 8% 11% 6% 15% 8% 3%
Somewhat positive 22% 22% 22% 28% 25% 14%
Somewhat negative 32% 36% 29% 28% 29% 38%
Very negative 16% 19% 14% 9% 16% 23%
Unsure 21% 13% 29% 20% 22% 21%
Base (n) 1,096 536 560 347 364 385
  • Younger participants (aged 18-34 years old, 15%) were more likely to say China had a very positive influence on Australia’s politics than those over 35 (6%).
  • Similarly, those in paid employment (12%) were more likely to say China had a very positive influence on Australia’s politics than those in other employment groups (4%).

Chinese corporations and businesses operating in Australia

  Total Gender Age
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
Very positive 10% 11% 8% 17% 9% 4%
Somewhat positive 31% 33% 29% 33% 33% 26%
Somewhat negative 25% 25% 24% 22% 22% 30%
Very negative 19% 20% 17% 13% 16% 26%
Unsure 16% 10% 22% 15% 20% 14%
Base (n) 1,096 536 560 347 364 385
  • Participants aged 18-34 were more likely to say that China had a very positive influence over Chinese corporations and businesses operating in Australia (17%) than those over 35 years old (7%).
  • Those in paid employment were also more likely to say China had a very positive influence over Chinese corporations and businesses operating in Australia (13%) than those in other employment groups (7%).