Resounding verdict: Nepalis choose India over China in latest public opinion survey


KATHMANDU: A comprehensive public opinion survey conducted by Rahul Karan Reddy, in collaboration with the Organisation for Research on China and Asia (ORCA), has revealed that citizens of Kathmandu, Nepal, exhibit a more positive and relatable sentiment toward India as compared to China.

The survey, which involved over 180 participants from diverse locations within the capital city, sheds light on the underlying factors driving these preferences.

The survey’s outcomes emphasize the cultural and historical ties between Nepal and India, which contribute significantly to the favorable perceptions. The economic opportunities presented by India also outshine China’s diplomatic efforts and economic presence. Despite occasional political tensions, the majority of respondents showcased a marked preference for India.

One noteworthy aspect of the study is the visibility of the two countries in public spaces. An overwhelming 70% of participants noted India’s greater visibility in Kathmandu’s public areas, while 26% acknowledged China’s higher presence. This visibility index has been linked to the efficacy of each nation’s public diplomacy strategies.

Furthermore, the survey’s results unveiled a paradox: while 51% of respondents commended India’s success in projecting a positive image, 45% attributed the same accolade to China. This complex trend suggests that India’s strategic investments in smaller-scale projects resonated more effectively with the public, despite China’s broader visibility.

The survey pointed to the tangible accessibility of market opportunities as a pivotal factor shaping public perceptions. Notably, 60% of participants affirmed India’s predominant role as Nepal’s key development partner, whereas only 39% believed China played a more relevant role in Nepal’s economic progress.

Although participants perceived India and China to have similar roles, their expectations for economic engagement differed. Respondents favored development aid (29.4%) and trade (29.4%) as priorities for India, while they emphasized development aid (32.7%) and trade (28.8%) for China. Education opportunities were also regarded as crucial for both nations.

Balancing relations with India and China emerged as a key sentiment. A substantial 56% of participants advocated for equal development of relations with both nations, while 28% leaned towards prioritizing India and 15% favored China.

The survey also gauged the strength and stability of Nepal’s relations with India and China on a scale of 1 to 10. Notably, 50.5% of respondents rated India-Nepal relations between 6 and 8, while 42% assigned similar scores for China-Nepal relations. This suggests a perceived stability in the country’s relationships with its neighbors. Intriguingly, respondents slightly favored China over India at the extreme ends of the scale.


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