Three out of four Russians view China favorably, an independent poll said Tuesday, a 10% jump from last year as Moscow’s ties with the West grow increasingly strained.
The Levada Center polling agency said 75% of Russian respondents view China in a positive light, up from 65% in 2020. Only 14% said they view China negatively, down from 24% last year.
“Attitudes toward China improved dramatically in 2014 amid the conflict between Russia and the West,” Levada said, referring to the period after Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine.
A majority of Russians, or 56%, also said that worldwide respect for China rose in the past decade, compared with 42% who said the same about Russia itself and 9% about the United States.
A majority of the respondents, 55%, said that Russian-Chinese relations improved Moscow’s global standing, according to the pollster.
One-third said that Russian-Chinese relations weakened Russian-U.S. relations.
Only 8% and 9% of Levada’s respondents, respectively, expressed the view that China has become less respected and that Russian-Chinese ties weaken Moscow on the global stage.
Levada carried out the survey among 1,616 Russian respondents in 50 regions between Jan. 29-Feb. 2.
President Vladimir Putin floated last fall the possibility of a Russian-Chinese military alliance, which the countries have so far rejected in favor of a strategic partnership.
Russia “pivoted” toward China after its annexation of Crimea triggered Western sanctions and sunk relations to post-Cold War lows.