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78% of Pinoys think ties with US more important than with China

/ 04:30 AM December 08, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — It is possible for the Philippines to simultaneously have good ties with China and the United States, but most Filipinos think relations with their former colonial master are more important than with their centuries-old trading partner, according to a survey  by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

The survey, conducted in September, showed that 52 percent of the 1,800 adult respondents thought that having good relations with the US and China at the same time was possible while 41 percent believed it was not possible and 7 percent did not answer.

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At the same time, 78 percent said the Philippines’ ties with the US are more important than its relationship with China, while 12 percent said the opposite. Five percent answered that the country’s links with both countries are equally important.

The survey suggested that the respondents’ beliefs were based on their trust in the US and distrust of China as shown by a simultaneous survey showing that Filipinos’ net trust in China slipped further to a “bad” -33 in September, with 54 percent having “little trust,” and 21 percent saying they have “much trust” in China.

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The US was still the most trusted country among Filipinos with 80 percent saying they have “much trust” and 8 percent have “little trust,” for a net trust rating of “excellent” +72.

The survey found that fans of the US was most pronounced in Luzon at 83 percent, followed by Metro Manila at 79 percent, Visayas at 77 percent and Mindanao at 67 percent, but about half of respondents in all geographical areas, ranging from 48 percent to 53 percent, said it was possible for the Philippines to have good relations with both the US and China at the same time.

The belief that the Philippines can have good relationship with the US and China at the same time was stronger among those with “much trust” in China (67 percent) compared with those who have “little trust” in China (48 percent).

The proportion of respondents who said it is possible to have good ties with both the US and China was lower among those with “little trust” in the US (45 percent) than among those with “much trust” (53 percent) in the US.

The survey questions were: Now about Philippines’ relationships with China and the US. Do you think it is possible or not possible for the Philippines to have a good relationship with both China and with the US at the same time? (Yes, possible; no, not possible.)

Which relationship do you think is more important to Philippines? (Shuffle card: Philippines’ relationship with the US; Philippines’ relationship with China.) —Inquirer Research

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TAGS: PH-China relations, PH-US relations, SWS survey
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