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Southeast Asians regard China as the most influential economic power

A new survey by the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute showed 76.7% of Southeast Asians regard China as the most influential economic power in the region. The survey involved 1,677 Southeast Asians. The United States trailed in second place at a very distant 9.8%. Although half of those with a positive view of China said that perception could be negatively impacted if Beijing continues to expand its influence in their country. Beijing’s territorial positions over the South China Sea are a top concern among those surveyed with 46.2% saying it could taint their perceptions of China. Of the 58.1% of respondents who show distrust toward China, nearly half of them fear Beijing could use economic and military power to threaten their country’s sovereignty.

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