New Delhi: An online survey conducted by The Takshashila Institution has found that a majority of Indians think China was responsible for the coronavirus pandemic. A significant number of them also feel calling the illness a “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus” wasn’t racist or stigmatised.
The survey was carried out by Manoj Kewalramani, fellow, China Studies, at The Takshashila Institution, on how people perceived China after the Covid-19 crisis.
Conducted from 26 March to 3 April, it had 1,299 respondents — 1,156 Indians, and the rest of them were from US, Canada and even China.
Around 67 per cent of the total respondents believed that China was responsible for the Covid-19 outbreak. Out of these, 48 per cent said China failed to stop illegal wildlife trade, contain an early outbreak of the contagious illness and had “lied” to the world.
Around 18 per cent also believed coronavirus could be a biological weapon created by China.
More than 50 per cent of Indians in the survey said calling the illness a “Chinese virus” was needed to make sure the neighbouring country didn’t escape responsibility.
China’s policies ‘draconian and opaque’
Around 65 per cent of those who participated in the survey thought China’s policies in containing the coronavirus outbreak were “draconian and opaque”.
They also believed that the Chinese government has hidden the true scale of the crisis. Only 3 per cent said China has provided a model for others to contain the outbreak and displayed the strength of its governance system.
China has been supplying masks, ventilators and other protective gear to other countries affected by the pandemic. On Sunday, the country donated 1,000 ventilators to the US.
Around 56 per cent of respondents in the survey, however, believed China’s gesture towards other countries was “nothing but geopolitics”. According to the survey, these respondents said China’s actions were only an opportunity to project its power over other nations.
A majority of the participants also didn’t think China was a threat to India. Close to 50 per cent admitted that both countries shared a complex relationship and common interests.