Filipinos’ trust in China drops to all-time low

Paterno Esmaquel II
Filipinos’ trust in China drops to all-time low
An SWS survey also shows that the West Philippine Sea dispute has become the Philippines' 5th most followed news event

MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos’ trust in China dropped to an all-time low as Manila and Beijing fight over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), a pollster said Thursday, July 8.  

A survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed that Filipinos have given China “a record-low net trust rating of -45.”

This surpassed the prevous record-low rating of -36.

Filipinos gave China a -36 rating in June 2014 and May 2012. This was after the April 2012 standoff between Philippine and Chinese vessels at Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal), which led to the filing of a historic case against China in January 2013.

Filipinos also gave China -36 in June 1995, after China occupied the Philippines’ Mischief Reef.

The survey was taken from June 5 to 8 among 1,200 adult respondents.

The day after the survey period, June 9, was the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the Philippines and China. (READ: Aquino’s ‘Nazi’ jab spoils PH-China ties’ 40th anniv

PH-China: 5th most followed story 

The survey comes as a powerhouse team from the Philippines attends oral hearings at The Hague, Netherlands, to argue Manila’s case against Beijing. (READ: EXPLAINER: Philippines’ 5 arguments vs China)

The SWS survey also showed the following:

  • The West Philippine Sea dispute has become the “5th most followed news event”
  • Most adult Filipinos trust the US and Australia  

While many Filipinos distrust China, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua urged better ties between Manila and Beijing. 

Zhao said, “We’re destined to be friends and partners.”

Chinese Filipinos have also sought better Philippines-China relations.

In an opinion piece for Rappler, Xavier School president Fr Ari Dy wrote: “On June 9, the Philippines and China mark 40 years of diplomatic relations. In fact, however, our peoples have been trading for more than 10 centuries. Most Chinese (distinguished from new immigrants) have become Filipinos, and we who fall under this category will do our best to continue being human bridges of peace and understanding.” (READ: Philippines and China: Beyond the sea dispute–

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at