China's crumbling soft power in Europe

Recent polls show rising negativity towards China. There are ways Beijing can counteract this reputational loss but will it reverse its current course?

Public opinion in most European countries now sees China in either very negative terms or as an outright threat. PHOTO: REUTERS
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LONDON - "If you make China the enemy, China will be the enemy." That sentence, recently uttered by an unnamed Chinese official, was apparently directed at Australia.

But it now resonates in Europe as well, not because European governments are eager for a showdown with China, but more because public opinion in most European countries now sees China in either very negative terms or as an outright threat.

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