September 16th, 2010
04:39 PM GMT
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September 16th, 2010
06:15 AM GMT
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A report on Transatlantic Trends surveying attitudes in the European Union, Turkey and the U.S. show a stark contrast in attitudes on the rising economic and political might of China and India.

The report, sponsored by the German Marshall Fund in the U.S., interviewed 11,000 people in the U.S., Turkey and 11 EU nations. Respondents in the EU were particularly despondent when it came to the euro, which took a beating with sovereign debt problems earlier this year.

“There was little support for Europe’s common currency in the countries surveyed that use the euro,” the report authors said. “When asked whether using the euro has been a good or bad thing for their country’s economy, almost all majorities in the eurozone sample responded negatively.

“The euro was not appealing from the outside either. Majorities of the British (83%) and Polish (53%), and a plurality of Bulgarians (42%), thought that using the euro would be a bad thing for their economies. However, more than half of the EU respondents (57%) felt that economic difficulties in Europe should lead to greater commitment to build a stronger European Union.”

But particularly interesting was the wide gulf in attitudes across the Atlantic about Asia. Authors of the report write:

“EU and U.S. respondents were divided about the role Asia would play in global affairs. Seven-in-ten respondents (71%) in America found it very likely that China will exert strong leadership in the future, while only a third of Europeans (34%) thought the same scenario is very likely. Nevertheless, EU respondents (31%) were somewhat more likely than Americans (21%) to describe their relations with China as good.

“When asked about India, the majority of EU respondents (54%) thought it was unlikely that the world’s most populous democracy will exert strong leadership in world affairs five years from now, while 74% of Americans believed that India was likely to play a leading role.”

Half of U.S. respondents said they had enough common values with China that cooperation on international issues was likely. Two-thirds of Europeans, however, said their values are so different international cooperation with China was less likely.

All of which raises a question – why these divergent views on Asia between the EU and the U.S.?

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