Most Pinoys say US can be trusted, are wary of China

The majority of the Filipinos polled believe the United States is the most trustworthy country following the return of the Balangiga bells last month, while China is the most distrusted nation, a Pulse Asia survey said Monday.

This emerged even if Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the Philippines two months ago.

In its survey on the trustworthiness of selected countries and regional organizations, eight out of every 10 Filipinos it surveyed, Pulse Asia said 84 percent considered the US as the most trusted country while 29 percent had a great deal of trust and 54 percent had a fair amount of trust.

On the other hand, only 16 percent of the Filipinos surveyed expressed distrust in the US.  

The second most trustworthy country among Filipinos was Japan with 75 percent, followed by Australia with 72 percent and the United Kingdom with 57 percent.

The same survey showed that Filipinos continued to distrust over China despite the country’s “enduring relationship” with the Asian giant.

The pollster recorded that a majority of the Filipinos it suveyed, or 60 percent, did not trust China amid Beijing’s continuous reclamation activities, weather system installation and strong presence over the disputed South China Sea or the West Philippine Sea.

However, with the several agreements signed because of Xi’s state visit to the country two months ago, 39 percent of the Filipinos surveyed believe the country should at least extend a fair amount of trust to China.

Russia also emerged as the second least trustworthy country for those surveyed with 54 percent saying they did not trust Moscow as against 45 percent who did.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the figures showing the Filipinos’ trust and distrust on US and China were “understandable.”

“It’s understandable [for them] to feel that way because we have been used to the States being our allies. We have been accustomed to America,” Panelo told reporters on Friday.

“Maybe as we go along, the public will see the sincerity of China. With respect to the agreements between the two countries, maybe it will change their point of view.”

Panelo said the survey results did not mean President Rodrigo Duterte had failed to persuade the Filipinos to like China.

“It takes some time for people to accept certain changes that they are not used to it,” he said.

The Pulse Asia survey was conducted after the US Department of Defense returned the historic Balangiga bells to the country as a sign of “healing and closure” between the two countries on Dec. 11, 2018.

Xi’s visit last Nov. 20, on the other hand, paved the way for Manila and Beijing to forge 29 agreements.

The said survey, conducted from Dec. 14 to 21, 2018, used face-to-face interviews of 1,800 adults.

from Manila Standard


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