83 percent Indians see China as threat: Opinion poll

New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) As many as 83 percent Indians consider China a security threat though 63 percent would like relations with it to improve, reveals an opinion poll conducted with samples across India.

The findings of the ‘India Poll 2013: Facing the future – Indian views of the world ahead’ conducted by the Lowy Institute for International Policy and Australia India Institute (AII), was released at Observer Research Foundation (ORF) here Monday.

According to an ORF release, the poll revealed multiple reasons for the mistrust between India and China, including China’s possession of nuclear weapons, competition for resources in third countries, its efforts to strengthen relations with other countries in the Indian Ocean region and the India-China border dispute.

Although China has become India’s largest trading partner, only 31 percent of Indians agreed that China’s rise has been good for the country, according to the poll.

“In responding to China’s rise, most Indians want an each-way bet: 65 percent agree that Indian should join other countries to limit China’s influence. Yet, 64 percent agree that India should cooperate with China to play a leading role in the world,” the release said.

The poll also revealed that 83 percent Indians want India-US relations to be strong while 31 percent see US as a security threat.

“As far as Pakistan is concerned, an overwhelming majority of 94 percent Indians see it as a threat, citing terrorism as a major reason,” the release said and added that the other reasons were of Pakistani army seeing India as ‘an enemy’,” Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and Pakistan’s position concerning Kashmir.

“Corruption, democracy, domestic policy and other issues also figured in the poll, which was conducted between Aug 30 and Oct 15 last year,” the release said.

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