Essential Research: coronavirus and attitudes to China

A major souring in Australians’ attitudes to China but little change on coronavirus (at least since last week), according to the latest Essential poll.

Another week, another Essential Research coronavirus poll — this one focusing on attitudes to China, which have notably soured. As related by The Guardian, respondents were asked if they had a favourable or unfavourable view of China’s influences on Australian life, which produced a net rating of minus 30% on trade, compared with plus 1% last August, and a net rating of minus 40% for Chinese business operating in Australia, down from minus 21%. There were also scores of minus 26% for defence, minus 36% for politics and minus 9% for culture. Conversely, the United States scored net positive scores, albeit that these were quite a lot bigger for defence (plus 29%), business (plus 15%) and trade (plus 14%) than politics (plus 2%) and culture (plus 7%).

Asked which relationship would be more beneficial to strengthen, 42% favoured the US and 18% China, compared with 38% and 28% last August. Respondents had two bob each way on trade in that 53% thought Australia “needs to do all it can to avoid a trade war with China”, with 17% opposed, but 48% felt Australia should impose retaliatory tariffs, with 22% opposed. The poll found “more than half” believe China’s trade sanctions against Australia were motivated by the government’s call for an investigation into the origins of COVID-19.

The poll continued its weekly suite of questions on coronavirus, recording no change on the government’s handling of the crisis, which was rated positively by 73% and negatively by 11%. Levels of concern little changed on last week (79% either very or quite concerned, down one, and 21% either not at all or not that concerned, up one). A divide appears to be opening on restrictions, with higher responses for both lifting them as soon as possible (up five to 14%) and holding off (up two to 27%). The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1087; a full report should be published later today.

Note that below this post is a dedicated thread for the Eden-Monaro by-election, which you are encouraged to use if you have something specific to say on that subject.

UPDATE: Full report here.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

2,091 comments on “Essential Research: coronavirus and attitudes to China”

  1. g….no problemo!

    The Guardian were not at all clear.

    There’s no particular reason why doctors would or would not be trying to promote or undermine Trump. Their focus is on treating patients not on fighting political campaigns for or against any particular political figure. That’s a basic strength of the profession.

  2. Isn’t it lucky that the internet never forgets? 🙂

    Aaron Dodd
    @AaronDodd
    ·
    22m
    While @SenSHenderson berates @DanielAndrewsMp over VIC’s non-binding #BeltandRoad agreement. This agreement was being signed in her own #Corangamite electorate by the VIC Liberal Premier #DenisNapthine while she was the local Liberal MP. #auspol #springst

    https://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/news/geelong/geelong-forges-business-ties-with-china-province/news-story/5a6ad3f9290d4f99d3b5b4dcbabaa15d

  3. The unions have again demonstrated their utterly corporatised character by backing cuts to penalty rates and conditions for tens of thousands of lowly-paid workers on the pretext of the economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
    On Monday, the Fair Work Commission, the pro-business industrial tribunal established by the last federal Labor government with the support of the unions, upheld an application by McDonald’s and other chains for the elimination of overtime penalties for part-time workers….
    The unions have struck similar deals across a number of industries since the pandemic began. In the first weeks of March, the ACTU and its affiliated unions overhauled agreements covering some three million workers in the hospitality and clerical sectors, providing for sweeping cuts to overtime pay and the removal of restrictions on shift times.
    ACTU secretary Sally McManus proclaimed last month that by collaborating with the unions, employers could get “everything they want.” She has worked closely with the federal Liberal-National government as it has provided multi-billion bailouts to the very corporations that are laying workers off, and has bragged of sometimes daily discussions with industrial relations minister Christian Porter.

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/05/22/fast-m22.html

  4. “We’re just going to have to get used to living with the virus.”

    Direct quote from Channel 9 political reporter in Canberra. Hmm, wonder where he got that idea?

    It was said wrt businesses being allowed to open.

  5. Your Snow Bunny career inches closer to resuming. Zero active cases in Sth. Island now

    Here’s to brother kiwis, brother kiwis, brother kiwis.
    Here’s to brother kiwis who are with us tonight.
    They’re happy, they’re jolly, they’re covid safe by golly
    Here’s to brother kiwis who are with us tonight.

  6. Meanwhile the barley and beef bastardry by Comrade Xi continues.
    I now look at every single item I purchase.
    While the bastardry continues I will systematically use it as an input into all my purchasing decisions.
    What comes round goes round.

  7. don @1:30

    “Turns out that aerosols can also transmit Covid19.”
    https://www.n-tv.de/wissen/Ubertragung-durch-Aerosole-rueckt-in-Fokus-article21803000.html

    I’ve been saying this ever since the publication of a paper on that restaurant. Its worth also reposting this link which includes reference to that paper.

    https://www.erinbromage.com/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them

    The “authorities” have been telling us all along that its just droplets and they fall to the floor and that we’re perfectly safe if we keep a distance. The truth is a bit more complicated. If we spend long enough in a limited volume of air, especially where the air is being recirculated, then its a very real risk.

    This has some practical outcomes. One of them is we’re going to have to stop and rethink reopening indoor spaces. Its not just the area per person that matters – its the volume of air and whether the space is well ventilated.

    Another thing I keep pointing out is that the absolute worst place to be is on a train – because the air is being drawn along the carriage past everyone towards the air intake, from whence it is recirculated over everyone.

    I think the “authorities” need to think carefully and put out a simple message. The more air the better. Stay outdoors. Use a mask while indoors. Limit your exposure time.

    The next big cluster and possibly the start of a second wave is going to start on a train. Or in a food court, or a cinema, or some such enclosed space. Its time to get that message out.

  8. While @SenSHenderson berates @DanielAndrewsMp over VIC’s non-binding #BeltandRoad agreement. This agreement was being signed in her own #Corangamite electorate by the VIC Liberal Premier #DenisNapthine while she was the local Liberal MP. #auspol #springst

    Andrews is being criticised by Federal Labor and others because he has signed up to Belt and Road Initiative with the *Chinese government* thereby undermining a united and bipartisan national foreign policy re China.

    A *non-BRI* MoU between regional areas in Australia and China does not ….comparing apples with oranges….

  9. The governor of the Reserve Bank has warned the government the jobkeeper program may need to be kept going beyond its current cut-off date to avoid the Australian economy falling off a cliff.

    Statements made by the RBA governor, Philip Lowe, and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority chairman, Wayne Byres, about the risk of economic collapse when the jobkeeper program expires at the end of September will increase pressure on the Morrison government to defy a ginger group of Coalition backbenchers and extend stimulus into the new year.

    Byres told the committee that $60bn in loans had been approved under a scheme that deferred repayments on small business borrowing for six months. Half of the loans are guaranteed by the government and half by the banks.

    Banks have also deferred repayments on $250bn in other loans, mostly residential mortgages, Byres said.

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/may/28/scrapping-jobkeeper-too-early-risks-australian-economy-falling-off-a-cliff-covid-inquiry-told

  10. lizzie @ #1853 Thursday, May 28th, 2020 – 4:47 pm

    Isn’t it lucky that the internet never forgets? 🙂

    Aaron Dodd
    @AaronDodd
    ·
    22m
    While @SenSHenderson berates @DanielAndrewsMp over VIC’s non-binding #BeltandRoad agreement. This agreement was being signed in her own #Corangamite electorate by the VIC Liberal Premier #DenisNapthine while she was the local Liberal MP. #auspol #springst

    https://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/news/geelong/geelong-forges-business-ties-with-china-province/news-story/5a6ad3f9290d4f99d3b5b4dcbabaa15d

    Lol.

    It effectively paved the way for Geelong to become the “portal” for China to do business with Australia, Dr Walker said. 🙂

  11. Cud Chewer,
    The word out of Canberra, via their mouthpiece on Channel 9, is that we’re just going to have to get used to living with the virus so that business can get back to business.

  12. The best thing about New Zealand wines is their consistency – it doesn’t matter where it’s from, who makes it, or what grape is used … they all taste exactly the same!

    You may have Covid. See a doctor.

  13. CC

    [The next big cluster and possibly the start of a second wave is going to start on a train. Or in a food court, or a cinema, or some such enclosed space]

    None of these were sources of clusters before lock down.

    Rather, local, weddings and dinners

  14. The Guardian’s Transparency Project

    State parliaments passed 547 new Covid-related measures with less than usual oversight

    Parliamentary scrutiny serves the public interest and should not be set aside by government, Tasmanian MP Meg Webb says

    A briefing paper released on Thursday by Tasmanian independent state MP Meg Webb examines the cuts to sitting across state and territory parliaments during the pandemic.

    It finds that all state parliaments save Western Australia and Queensland reduced sitting days, but continued to pass hundreds of new rules and regulations related to Covid-19.
    :::
    “In healthy democracies, parliamentary scrutiny serves the public interest and should not be set aside by the government of the day,” Webb said. “While they may not enjoy it, a government that seeks to avoid scrutiny inevitably looks like it has something to hide.

  15. shellbell

    People were avoiding public transport starting March 14.
    There is also the fact that infections that started on public transport are less likely to be identified as a cluster and more likely to be lumped into the “contact not identified” category.
    And I’m not saying that indoor gatherings aren’t risky either.

    Note also: Dumb shit luck plays a role.

  16. I reckon the whole of New Zealand must have it!

    That would explain their love of deep fried oysters. And maybe even their accent!
    But not their habit of producing nice wine and beer.

  17. On border closures and the winter migration to Qld and WA.
    Imagine trying to contact trace somebody who has been on the road moving every day for a couple of weeks.

  18. Josh Butler
    @JoshButler
    ·
    2h
    I’ve been bathing in COVID conspiracy theories for the last few months but I gotta say the “government planned the pandemic hoax because the wattle flowers on the new $10 note look kinda like the coronavirus under a microscope” is bending even my brain a fair bit

  19. So much for me thinking Daniel “Hard on Corona” Andrews’ public servants would be able to effectively manage the transfer of the lady who was in quarantine to SA. Another WTF?

    Once again things fall into the cracks between the processes of two governments – in this case the VIC government informed the SA govt but the SA govt didn’t read the message

    In this case – failure to receive – it is not sensible to blame either state government (or the Commonwealth government)

    What needs to happen instead is that this process is brought under a single government, which in this case (for the future) obviously must be the Commonwealth government

  20. http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-05/27/c_139092727.htm

    “HANOI, May 27 (Xinhua) — Vietnam reported no new cases of COVID-19 infection on Wednesday, with its total confirmed cases remaining at 327 with no death so far, according to its Ministry of Health.”

    “The country has recorded no local transmission for 41 straight days while there are nearly 9,800 people being quarantined and monitored, according to the health ministry.”

  21. John Hewson is saying that we must imagine the Australia we want to be and work towards that. Our problem is that Morrison’s idea of the Australia he wants us to be is a harsh and punitive one, where winners are grinners and if you’re poor it’s your own choice.

  22. lizzie says:
    Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 5:48 pm

    John Hewson is saying that we must imagine the Australia we want to be and work towards that. Our problem is that Morrison’s idea of the Australia he wants us to be is a harsh and punitive one, where winners are grinners and if you’re poor it’s your own choice.
    __________________
    I wonder how the great internet project of making Scott Morrison into the greatest monster in Australian history is going?

  23. A documentary from Canada on the Iraq War

    High Wire: https://www.nfb.ca/film/high-wire/

    High Wire examines the reasons that Canada declined to take part in the 2003 US-led military mission in Iraq, shining a spotlight on the diplomatic tug of war that took place behind the scenes with our neighbours to the south, who have often adopted an interventionist foreign policy to serve their own economic and geopolitical interests. Canada’s historic refusal could have had disastrous consequences, but a number of key players and other analysts remind us of the terrible price we pay when diplomacy fails.

  24. nath @ #1853 Thursday, May 28th, 2020 – 4:47 pm

    The unions have again demonstrated their utterly corporatised character by backing cuts to penalty rates and conditions for tens of thousands of lowly-paid workers on the pretext of the economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
    On Monday, the Fair Work Commission, the pro-business industrial tribunal established by the last federal Labor government with the support of the unions, upheld an application by McDonald’s and other chains for the elimination of overtime penalties for part-time workers….
    The unions have struck similar deals across a number of industries since the pandemic began. In the first weeks of March, the ACTU and its affiliated unions overhauled agreements covering some three million workers in the hospitality and clerical sectors, providing for sweeping cuts to overtime pay and the removal of restrictions on shift times.
    ACTU secretary Sally McManus proclaimed last month that by collaborating with the unions, employers could get “everything they want.” She has worked closely with the federal Liberal-National government as it has provided multi-billion bailouts to the very corporations that are laying workers off, and has bragged of sometimes daily discussions with industrial relations minister Christian Porter.

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/05/22/fast-m22.html

    Sellout Sally …?

  25. lizzie

    Josh Butler
    @JoshButler
    ·
    2h
    I’ve been bathing in COVID conspiracy theories for the last few months but I gotta say the “government planned the pandemic hoax because the wattle flowers on the new $10 note look kinda like the coronavirus under a microscope” is bending even my brain a fair bit

    That is a WOW!!

    But, that is the first thing I said about the new $5 note – it has viruses on it.

    At least now I know I was not the only person who saw them, and also that they were meant to be wattle. Definitely nothing like the spherical wattle flower clusters I am used to.

  26. The CES was established after WW2 to help employers find and recruit workers in an era when labour was scarce. Through the years its operations changed, especially during the periods of Labor Government with a focus on helping workers locate work. The CES also ran programs to offset all kinds of “frictional” costs in the labour market – relocation costs, training costs, placement difficulties of various kinds. This was job-seeker-based and during the period of the Hawke Government was also used to fund job-creating projects of various kinds. The whole focus of the CES was to serve as an “agent” – kind of work broker with benefits – in the labour market. Howard and Costello abolished it. They did a very great disservice to working people and to the functioning of the labour market in general.

    The CES was never set up to supervise the conditions of employment – to supervise the wage rates or entitlements of workers. It never had that power. It’s doubtful that such a power could be conferred on a CES-type agency today.

  27. BiTB

    shellbell @ #1858 Thursday, May 28th, 2020 – 2:54 pm

    Whoever wrote the COVID evacuation plan for my son’s school is being paid by the word.

    A lawyer?

    Some poor teacher who was not quick enough to say no?

  28. Actually one of the criticisms of Andrews regarding the China MOU is the idea that States should only have agreements with regions within a Country, not the Country itself.

    That’s what makes this MOU unusual.

    It’s just a convention, so I can’t see why the federal Government would be upset, after all they’ve trashed enough of them.

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