MANILA, Philippines – Vietnam and the Philippines remain most concerned about territorial disputes with China over the South China Sea, a global think tank said in a recent survey.
In Vietnam, 60% of respondents described themselves as “very concerned” about territorial disputes with China, according to a Pew Research Center survey released Tuesday, July 14.
In the Philippines, 56% of respondents said the same thing.
Pew Research Center explained that fighting with China over land “is one of the top two concerns in a number of Asian nations.”
It said Vietnam and the Philippines, for one, both “challenge China’s claim over islands in the South China Sea, where the Chinese government has recently constructed artificial islands.” (READ: Vietnam to Philippines: United, we will win)
The two Southeast Asian countries’ most recent show of unity was the oral hearings in Manila’s case against Beijing over the South China Sea.
Vietnam, one of China’s top two challengers in the South China Sea, joined 4 other countries in sending envoys to the historic hearings at The Hague, Netherlands.
Japan is another country embroiled in a territorial dispute with China, but in a separate body of water, the East China Sea. The Pew Research Center survey said 52% of Japanese remain “very concerned” about territorial disputes with Beijing.
Trust in China at all-time low
Pew Research Center pointed out it surveyed Vietnam and the Philippines on the following dates:
- Vietnam: April 6 to May 10
- Philippines: April 13 to 28
The think tank asked 1,000 respondents in both countries, and had an error margin of 4.1 percentage points.
In its survey, Pew Research Center added, however, that there is “little concern worldwide about territorial disputes with China and its neighbors.”
Globally, the biggest concern of respondents is climate change.
In the US, only 30% of respondents remained “very concerned” about territorial disputes with China.
In Australia, only 17% of respondents said the same thing.
The US and Australia have been described as the two countries most trusted by adult Filipinos, a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed.
Published on July 8 this year, this SWS survey also said Filipinos’ trust in China has dropped to an all-time low. – Rappler.com
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