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Australia–China relations

Australia–China relations remain at a low point. We surveyed Chinese-Australians about their attitudes towards China and the decline in the Australia–China relationship.

Key Finding
73%
see China as an economic partner rather than a security threat, an increase from 2020

Chinese-Australians tend to see China’s culture, history and people as having a positive influence on their views of China.

QUESTION  For each of the following factors, please indicate whether, for you personally, they have a positive or negative influence on your overall view of China.

  1. 0%
  2. 20%
  3. 40%
  4. 60%
  5. 80%
  6. 100%
China’s culture and history
Chinese-Australians
73
27
Australian population
68
30
China’s economic growth
Chinese-Australians
72
28
Australian population
47
50
3
Chinese people you have met
Chinese-Australians
70
30
Australian population
76
21
Chinese investment in Australia
Chinese-Australians
63
37
Australian population
20
79
China’s environmental policies
Chinese-Australians
56
44
Australian population
17
79
4
China’s military activities in the region
Chinese-Australians
53
47
Australian population
5
93
China’s system of government
Chinese-Australians
52
48
Australian population
6
92

Data for the broader Australian population is from the 2021 Lowy Institute Poll.

Most Chinese-Australians continue to see China as more of an economic partner to Australia, in stark contrast to the broader Australian population that see China as more of a security threat.

QUESTION  Thinking now about Australia and China. In your own view, is China more of an economic partner to Australia or more of a security threat to Australia?

  1. 0%
  2. 20%
  3. 40%
  4. 60%
  5. 80%
  6. 100%
Chinese-Australians
2020
66
34
2021
73
27
Australian population
2020
55
3
41
2021
34
63

Data for the broader Australian population is from the 2021 Lowy Institute Poll.

More Chinese-Australians blame Australia for tensions in the Australia–China relationship than the broader Australian population, though four in ten say that both countries are equally to blame.

QUESTION  Which country is more to blame for the tensions in the Australia–China relationship?

  1. 0%
  2. 20%
  3. 40%
  4. 60%
  5. 80%
  6. 100%
Chinese-Australians
40
41
19
Australian population
4
38
56

Data for the broader Australian population is from the 2021 Lowy Institute Poll.