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Poll finds Chinese youths favoring S. Korea more than NK

2011/10/01 Source

Chinese youths consider North Korea "weak, dark, dirty and slow" and South Korea "strong, bright, clean and fast", according to a recent survey.

This shows Chinese youths are shifting from a pro-North Korea sentiment based on their country's alliance with the North and favoring South Korea more.

The office of Rep. Koo Sang-chan of the ruling Grand National Party conducted a survey of 935 Chinese college students Aug. 15-31 on their perceptions of China`s relations with the two Koreas and other neighboring countries.

On a scale of 1-10 with ten being the highest score, the students rated North Korea last with 4.94 points and South Korea first with 6.59 points. The U.S. ranked second with 6.53 points and Japan third with 6.34 points.

As a country getting more than 5.5 points is considered to have a positive image, North Korea's rating shows that Chinese youths think negatively about the Stalinist country.

On the country friendliest to China, Russia ranked first with 24.1 percent and the North second with 22.6 percent, but the South was a close third with 21.6 percent.

Asked which country is the most economically powerful in Asia, 43.6 percent said Japan. South Korea was considered more economically powerful than China, with 27.1 percent of the pollees choosing the former and 20.8 percent selecting the latter.

On their preferred destination to study abroad, South Korea ranked second (13.4 percent) followed by the U.S. (38.6 percent).

On the proposed free trade agreement between South Korea and China, 60.4 percent supported the agreement and 60.8 percent said it will benefit both countries. In addition, 47.9 percent said two countries will seal such an accord within one to five years.

The positive perception of South Korea by Chinese youths is largely due to the influence of Korean pop culture, or hallyu, in China.

The majority of respondents said they like Korean pop culture and see it as fun, fast and beneficial to the development of China's pop culture and understanding of Korea.

On their favorite Korean entertainers, Girls' Generation got the most votes (75) followed by Rain (65), Super Junior (62) and TVXQ (58).

More than half of the Chinese respondents (57.5 percent), however, said the alliance between South Korea and the U.S. is dangerous, with 9.8 percent of them seeing it as a serious danger to China.

On Korean reunification, 30.1 percent considered it positive while 33.6 percent did not.

Koo said, "We need to devise programs to remove negative perception of the South Korea-U.S. alliance by Chinese youths and let them know Korean reunification is no danger to China".

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