While China-related topic was expected to dominate the US-ASEAN summit, a recent survey showed that nearly 80 percent of Chinese respondents said about 90 percent considered the China-ASEAN ties as friendly and over 75 percent hold a positive attitude toward their future.
The survey was jointly conducted by the Global Times Research Center and Centre for Chinese Foreign Strategy Studies, Renmin University of China between March 15 and April 15 in 31 Chinese provinces, regions and municipalities among people aged 18 to 69. It collected 2,012 valid questionnaires from the general public and 1,150 from college students.
About 61.8 percent of the respondents said they have a good impression of ASEAN, and those who have visited ASEAN members share high scores in terms of the impression about the region.
Over 90 percent of the respondents said they are interested in ASEAN, and nearly two-third of them share very high interests. The region's business and trade, technology, nature, history and sports attract about 40 percent of the respondents, according to the survey.
Some 90.4 percent of the respondents said China-ASEAN relations are "friendly" and over two-thirds took it as "very friendly" and "relatively friendly."
In responding to the question about "whether China and ASEAN can properly handle the South China Sea question," 26.9 percent of the respondents said the two sides can always handle it well while 67.3 percent believed that although there are divergences, they can generally handle it properly, the survey shows.
The survey also shows that the majority of the respondents attach importance to economic cooperation between China and ASEAN, followed by the public health sector.
In the education sector, 88.4 percent of the college students surveyed showed a positive attitude toward exchange activities with universities in the region. Activities related to culture and arts are considered the most popular ones, as 61.6 percent of the respondents mentioned, followed by language study activities.
While the Chinese public shares high interests in ASEAN members, Singapore has become the country that attracted them the most. The average score of interest for Singapore is above 4, with the highest score of 5, followed by Malaysia and Thailand, which both scored 3.8.