A recent Clingendael study found that the Dutch public regard the rise of China as a threat to European security, ranking it the second-biggest threat after pressure from immigrants on the EU’s external borders.
To further improve our understanding of what the Dutch public think of China and how the Netherlands should position itself vis-a-vis the country, this Barometer Alert focuses specifically on China. Relevant insights are drawn from the overall perception of the rise of China, changes in that perception of China over time and differentiation in views according to political preference.
This Barometer Alert is based on a survey conducted in September 2020 with input from nearly 15,000 respondents, as well as a previous survey in February 2020 with 23,000 respondents.
In the course of the spring and summer of 2020, Dutch public opinion on China grew more negative. Between the first survey in February and the second in September, the number of people seeing China as a security threat increased (35% in February vs 46% in September). The same was true of those agreeing with the statement that China has a reprehensible regime (72% in February vs 83% in September). The number of people having a positive view of China’s achievements in domestic poverty alleviation (16% in February vs 11% in September) and the number of those thinking that China offers important economic opportunities decreased (30% in February vs 28% in September).