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Do Chinese Want to Live the Australian Dream?

Australia is the best destination for emigrants, according to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center of 3,200 adults in China.

The question posed was, “Suppose a young person who wanted to leave this country asked you to recommend where to go to lead a good life–what country would you recommend”? While there is no consensus, the most frequently cited countries are Australia (22%), Canada (17%), the United States (15%), France (8%), and Britain (8%). Few recommended Asian neighbors, such as Japan (3%), South Korea (1%), or Singapore (1%).

The limited interest in the U.S. as a destination for emigration is, I would guess, linked to current U.S. economic woes and America’s plummeting international popularity due to the Iraq war.

On the economy, strikingly large majorities of Chinese respondents are content with their country’s direction (86%) and economy (82%). This is the greatest level of satisfaction among the 24 nations included in the Pew survey. Despite satisfaction with national issues, Chinese respondents showed merely modest satisfaction with their personal job (64%) and household income (58%).

Chinese views of America’s intentions are mixed. The survey asked, “Overall, do you think of the U.S. as more of a partner of China, more of an enemy of China, or neither?” 13% said more of a partner, 34% said more of an enemy, and 41% said neither.

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