Australians don’t feel particularly warm or cold towards India if the Lowy Institute’s ‘Understanding Australian Attitudes to the World’ is to be believed.
India registers a moderate 56 degree Celsius on the Lowy Institute ‘feelings thermometer’, a measurement of Australians’ perceptions about countries, territories, and institutions on a scale of 0° (coldest feelings) to 100° (warmest feelings).
The report says China registers a very cool 32°, a 7-degree drop this year, and a striking 26-degree cooling since 2018. In 2020, this place on the thermometer was held by Saudi Arabia and Iran.
India receives a lukewarm response
The researchers had asked the respondents to rate their feelings towards some countries and territories, with one hundred meaning a very warm, favourable feeling; zero meaning a very cold, unfavourable feeling; and fifty meaning not particularly warm or cold.
India has gained a few degrees since last year, when it had registered a 52-degree Celsius on the ‘feelings thermometer.
The best reading India has seen on this scale was in 2006, when it had registered a warmer 62 degrees. 2019 was the worst in the last 15 years when the country had recorded only 52 degrees.
Canada is the best
According to the report, Canada leads the feelings thermometer in 2020, receiving a very warm 79°, a five-degree fall from 2018.
“Warmth towards the United Kingdom, despite its departure from the European Union, still sits steady at 74°, although eight degrees lower than in 2018. Feelings towards the European Union have cooled somewhat, down six degrees from 2019, although they remain at a warm 60°,” reads the report.
“This year, the highest-ranked countries in the region are Japan and Fiji, at a very warm 69° and 68° respectively. Feelings towards the United States in 2020 sit at 62°, steadying after a cooling trend since 2015. This result is not significantly different to the results in 2006 and 2007, the coolest results for the United States in the history of Lowy Institute polling. The United Nations registers a warmish 61° on the thermometer, steady from 2016,” it added.
Feelings towards Hong Kong cooled by five degrees to 58° in 2020, while the sentiments towards China have fallen sharply again this year.
“After a nine-degree fall in 2019, China had registered a further ten-degree drop to 39° in 2020. Both of these consecutive falls in sentiment represent the greatest single-year declines in the history of the Lowy Institute Poll feelings thermometer,” says the report.