9 Feb, 2019
The majority of Germans have negative views about the state of relations between Washington and Berlin, and many think China is a more reliable partner, a recent poll has shown. Only a fraction believe Russia is their problem.
As many as 85 percent of respondents in Germany saw US-German relations in a “negative” or even “very negative” light, according to a survey conducted by German polling company Civey and Atlantik-Bruecke (the Atlantic Bridge), an NGO promoting closer ties between the two countries. Just about ten percent of respondents had positive opinions about the relationship.
Worse still, more than 57 percent of Germans believe that Germany should also keep a greater distance from its ally across the pond, while only 13 percent advocate closer ties. More than 42 percent of German citizens also consider China to be a more reliable partner for Germany than the US – almost twice as many as those who said they favor the US.
The Germans also seem to be not particularly supportive of the mainstream narrative pushed by the US and their western allies when it comes to external threats – real or imagined. The supposedly expanding zone of influence of traditional boogeyman Russia was considered a concern by an underwhelming 1.9 percent of respondents, while just 2.2 percent thought China’s influence was to be feared. In contrast, right-wing populism and protectionism was named as a top threat by 31.1 percent.
The poll’s results have apparently upset the pro-US experts at the Atlantik-Bruecke NGO, who rushed to call for more “talks with and about America” while lamenting the “huge loss of confidence in the US.”
The Germans have indeed become less supportive of the US over recent years, with scandals exposing how Washington was spying on its allies and disregarding their interests – until finally it came to a threat of an all-out sanctions war. Berlin’s closest strategic ally even took second place in the list of countries that people in Germany fear the most, trailing behind Russia by just one percent point, according to another survey published in early January.
An earlier poll conducted in summer 2018 also showed that Germans believe that the actions of US President Donald Trump put the world at a greater risk than those of the Russian leader, Vladimir Putin.