Australians alarmed about China acquiring superpower status

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Melbourne, Oct.14 (ANI): A majority of Australians taking part in a Lowy Institute's annual survey are wary about China acquiring superpower status, but much happier with the United States being a superpower under Barack Obama.

The Lowy Institute's annual survey of the nation's views on a range of foreign policy issues has revealed that Australians' support for the US has rebounded to record highs with Obama's election.

Now, according to The Age, 83 per cent trust the US to act responsibly in the world - up 23 points since 2006. Australians' optimism about their relationship with the US, with 85 per cent saying it was important for the country's security.

China got a much cooler reception on the Lowy scale, dropping eight points since 2006. That might have been related to the detention of Australian executive Stern Hu and the Rudd Government's decision to block Chinese Government investment in sensitive mining areas.

Most Australians, 63 per cent, saw China as the most important economy to their country at present and 95 per cent agreed China already was or would become the leading power in Asia.

But 40 per cent were concerned about the development of China as a world power.

A vast majority of Australians, 86 per cent, are optimistic about Australia's economic performance over the next five years.

Australians' greatest fear is that unfriendly countries could obtain nuclear weapons.

There has been a small increase in support for Australia's military involvement in Afghanistan with 46 per cent saying it should stay the course, though a small majority, 51 per cent, believe the troops should not be there and 52 per cent say Australia does not have clear aims in the conflict.

In what will be good news to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, 71 per cent backed his push for an Australian seat on the UN Security Council.

An overwhelming 90 per cent of Australians said they felt safe or very safe in the world.

Sixty-nine percent said their most serious international fear was the "critical threat" that unfriendly countries might obtain nuclear weapons. International terrorism was the major threat for 68 per cent. (ANI)

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