Majority of Australians Think Less Favourably Towards China’s Communist Regime: Lowy Poll

May 14, 2020 Updated: May 18, 2020

Nearly 70 percent of Australians questioned in a new poll say they view China’s ruling communist regime less favorably due to its handling of the CCP virus outbreak.

Released on May 14, COVIDPoll by the Lowy Institute Poll has reported that 7 out of 10 Australians think that China has performed “fairly badly” or “very badly” in handling the outbreak.

Epoch Times Photo
COVIDpoll: Lowy Institute Polling On Australian Attitudes To The Coronavirus Pandemic, May 14, 2020.

By contrast, 9 out of 10 think the Australian government has so far done a good job of handling the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus.

The CCP virus has also tempered Australian’s expectations of China’s future position in the global landscape.

Only 37 percent think China will come out of the crisis in a more powerful position, a stark fall from 72 percent in 2009 when China emerged from the economic crisis at the end of that decade.

Lowy Institute research fellow Natasha Kassam said China’s system of government as an authoritarian one-party state has been subject to heightened scrutiny in Australia.

In fact, several members of Parliament and Senators—across multiple party lines—have spoken out against the regime.

In the last few weeks, Liberal Senator Eric Abetz has called for a “reckoning” with the “Chinese dictatorship;” One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts said China should pay compensation for the impact of the virus; Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton said Australia won’t “succumb to threats” from China; and, Labor Senator Penny Wong said Australia doesn’t share the same values with China’s authoritarian one-party regime.

In addition to the handling of the pandemic, the 2019 Lowy Institute Poll showed key reasons for Australia’s cooling attitudes towards China.

China’s interference in Australian politics, the Belt and Road Initiative, and the militarisation of the South China Sea have all contributed to more Australians developing a dim view of the Chinese regime.

COVIDPoll was conducted between April 14 and 27. It surveyed 3,036 adult Australians that were randomly recruited via their telephones or mobile phones, and has a margin of error of 1.8 percent.