More Indians—of all generations and educational levels—think well of Uncle Sam than think well of the Middle Kingdom, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Bruce Stokes, director of global economic attitudes at Pew, writes for CNN:
More than half of both men and women [said] they saw America in a positive light compared with around a third who see China that way. In addition, there was no generation gap with regard to views on the U.S. and on China—all age groups favored America. Almost three quarters of Indians with some college education or more have a positive view of Uncle Sam, compared with about four-in-ten with at least some college who see China in that light. Similarly, nearly two-thirds of high-income Indians favor the United States compared with about one-third who had a positive opinion of China.
U.S.-India relations have been rocky since last December, when an Indian diplomat was arrested and strip-searched on fraud charges in New York. An international controversy captured headlines in India and chilled relations. In retaliation for the diplomat’s “mistreatment,” India pulled down the security barriers guarding the U.S. embassy in Delhi.Yet most Indians still value their country’s relationship with the U.S. and regard an expansionist China with trepidation. Only 9 percent favor closer ties with China; more than half see it as a serious threat.India’s parliamentary elections are underway this week. As Stokes notes, voters aren’t as concerned with foreign affairs as they are with domestic issues like economic stagnation and government corruption. It’s good news, however, that when Indians do look abroad, they see a friend in Uncle Sam.