The Government of India may have rolled out the red carpet for the Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, who arrived in New Delhi yesterday, but popular opinion in India is deeply sceptical of Chinese ambitions in Asia and its policy towards India.
This is the clear verdict of arguably the most comprehensive survey of Indian public opinion in recent years. But while there is great warmth for the United States, and discomfort at China’s rise, there is ambiguity in the Indian response to any plans to contain China.
India Poll 2013: Facing the Future, the findings of which are being released today, was carried out late last year and much before last month’s alarming incursion by China into Indian territory.
Predictably, there continues to be deep concern within India about possible terrorist attacks from Pakistan as well as the motives of the Pakistan army, but a courageous reconciliatory move towards Islamabad by the Indian Prime Minister would invite widespread domestic support.
The poll also suggests that anti-Americanism, once a defining feature of Indian public opinion, is now part of history. Indians, not only, feel more warmly towards the United States than any other country, but see it as a role model in terms of governance.
Over all, Indians feel relatively secure, are optimistic about the future, but concerned about issues of governance and sensitive to the non-traditional threats to their security.
READ THE POLL DATA:
Press Coverage of the Poll: