Press release №1925
07.02.2017
RUSSIA-CHINA-USA: STRATEGIC TRIANGLE RELATIONS

IN BRIEF

  • 50% of Russians regard China as a strategic partner
  • 27% as a friendly state
  • In case of an open conflict between China and the U.S.A, 53% of respondents say Russia should maintain neutrality

Sputnik daily omnibus survey shows that most of Russians still treat China as Russia’s partner and friendly neighbor. However the information concerning the deployment of Chinese missiles on the Russian border causes anxiety; and Russians are afraid of being a victim of a possible Sino-US conflict.

MOSCOW, February 7, 2017. Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the results of a survey describing the Russian attitudes towards China.

 Russians view China as a friendly partner (50%) and a friendly state (27%; an increase from 36% in 2014).  Few Russians see China as an economic and political rival (10%) or as an enemy (5%).

The forecast of the bilateral relations is also positive: 37% of Russians think that China will stay Russia’s ally for the next decades; 38% - a close co-partner. Only 14% of respondents think that China will be Russia’s dangerous neighbor; 2% - its rival.

Simultaneously, China’s announcement to deploy Chinese strategic missiles near the Russian border drew public attention. Certain respondents (18%) propose to introduce tit-for-tat measures (to place missiles and anti-missile devices); others (16%) think Russia should be more alert and keep constant track of the situation. Five percent propose to use diplomatic means; 4% - to find out about the reasons behind the Chinese decision. Twenty-four percent of respondents think Russian authorities should not respond at all.

Amidst an aggravation of the American-Chinese relations, respondents say Russia should maintain neutrality (53%), rather than supporting either party. However, if any intervention occurs, Russians would propose to support China (“to support China in a careful manner not intervening in the conflict and to develop relations with both countries”) – 29%; “to openly support China”- 4%). Only 6% would support the U.S.A.

The VCIOM survey was conducted on January 28-29, 2017, using stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of landline and mobile phone numbers operating in Russia, and involved 1200 respondents. The data were weighted according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 3.5%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.

The household surveys were carried out in 2005-2014.

In your opinion, how does Russia view China today? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  2005 2007 2009 2014 2017
Strategic and economic partner 34 36 41 49 50
Friendly state, ally 22 27 19 36 27
Economic and political rival, competitor 24 21 24 8 10
Hostile state, possible rival 4 4 4 1 5
Don’t know 16 12 12 6
In your opinion, will China be Russia’s enemy or friend in the ХХI century? (closed-ended question, one answer)
  2005 2007 2009 2014 2017
Ally, friendly state 22 28 20 43 37
Close partner 26 24 27 36 38
Dangerous neighbor, competitor 25 20 24 9 14
Rival, enemy 6 4 5 1 2
Don't know 21 24 24 11 9
The media has recently reported that China placed nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles near the Russian border. According to the Chinese media, the missiles are deployed to prevent a possible military conflict with the U.S.A. In your opinion, how should Russia respond to the deployment of the Chinese missiles? (open-ended question, one answer, %)
  Moscow and St.Petersburg Million cities More than 500 ths 100–500 ths Less than 100 ths Rural area Total respondents
Russia should not respond 28 25 20 27 24 21 24
To deploy missiles or antimissile devices as a reciprocal step 16 19 16 17 19 17 18
To be alert 14 14 18 12 19 19 16
To use diplomatic means (with no detailed proposals) 9 4 5 6 5 3 5
To find out the true reason behind the missile deployment 5 6 5 5 2 4 4
To negotiate to make them take away the missiles 0 3 1 3 3 0 2
To ban China from placing missiles on the Russian border 1 1 2 1 3 4 2
To act in a reserved manner, causing no conflicts 3 2 2 0 1 0 1
To send troops back to the border 1 0 0 1 1 1 1
Other 1 3 2 3 0 2 2
Don’t know 21 21 29 25 23 28 25 
US President Trump’s remarks regarding China are getting more and more severe. The relations between the two countries are aggravating. Many expect a major conflict between them. What should Russia do in this situation? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)  
  A Just Russia party Supporters of LDPR Supporters of CPRF Supporters of United Russia party Supporters of non-parliamentary parties Total respondents
To maintain neutrality and not to intervene in the conflict 49 48 62 50 57 53
To support China in a restricted manner not intervening in the conflict and to develop the relations with both countries 32 33 28 32 20 29
To support the U.S.A. in a careful manner not intervening in the conflict and to develop the relations with both countries 8 6 4 6 15 6
To openly support China 1 8 2 4 1 4
To openly support U.S.A. 0 0 0 0 0 0
Don't know 10 5 4 8 7 8
Note: Using materials from the site www.wciom.ru or wciom.com, as well as distributed by VCIOM, the reference to the source (or hyperlink for the electronic media) is obligatory!
  Results of our study
  Ratings
  In focus
  News
  Subscription