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US image abroad has improved with Biden election-- Pew survey

By AFP - Jun 11,2021 - Last updated at Jun 11,2021

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left), his wife Carrie Johnson (second right) and US President Joe Biden and US First Lady Jill Biden, wearing a jacket bearing the words 'love', look out over the sea, prior to a bi-lateral meeting at Carbis Bay, Cornwall on Thursday (AFP photo)

WASHINGTON — The international image of the United States has improved following the election of Democrat Joe Biden but concerns remain over the health of American democracy, according to a survey published on Thursday.

The Pew Research Centre report, which surveyed the publics in 16 nations, was released as Biden was in Europe on his first overseas trip as president.

The United States was generally held in low regard in public opinion surveys conducted during Donald Trump's presidency.

Of 12 nations surveyed this year and in 2020, Pew said a median of 75 per cent expressed confidence in Biden to do the right thing regarding world affairs, compared with 17 per cent for Trump last year.

In France, 65 per cent of those surveyed said they see the United States positively, up from just 31 per cent last year.

Similar improvements of 25 percentage points or more were found in Germany, Japan, Italy, The Netherlands and Canada, Pew said.

Other countries surveyed -- Australia, Britain, Greece, South Korea, Spain and Sweden -- also saw a jump in US favourability ratings.

Looking at 12 countries polled during the first year of their presidencies, a median of 77 per cent described Biden as well-qualified to be president, compared with just 16 per cent who felt this way about Trump.

Pew said a median of 89 per cent across the 16 publics surveyed approved of Biden's decision to rejoin the World Health Organisation and 85 percent supported rejoining the Paris climate agreement.

Sixty-seven per cent of the 16 publics said the United States is a "very" or "somewhat" reliable partner with 57 per cent saying they expected relations to remain the same and 39 percent saying they expected them to improve.

Pew also surveyed attitudes towards the United States following the November presidential election and the January 6 attack on the US Congress by Trump supporters.

Seventeen per cent said democracy in the United States is a "good example" for other countries to follow while 57 per cent said it "used to be a good example but has not been in recent years."

Twenty-three per cent said it has "never" been a good example.

The Pew survey of 16,254 people was conducted between March and May in 12 to 16 countries depending on the questions.

They were: Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and Taiwan.

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