SYDNEY, December 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Of five countries, the United States is seen by the Chinese public as posing the greatest threat to China's security. But the Chinese population worries more about climate change and food and water security than traditional military threats, the Lowy Institute China Poll released today has found.

In the lead-up to Copenhagen, it is striking that more Chinese people worry about environmental threats than the possibility of the United States trying to restrain China's growing influence, the report's authors Fergus Hanson and Andrew Shearer of the Sydney-based Lowy Institute said.

Of five countries, 50% of the Chinese public said the United States posed a threat to China's security, followed by 45% for Japan. Majorities said India (60%), Russia (71%) and North Korea (81%) did not pose a threat.

A third (34%) said the United States posed the greatest threat to China's security - the highest rating for the five countries included in the survey.

But the United States was also considered the best of five overseas English-speaking countries in which to be educated. 53% said America was the best or second-best country in which to be educated ahead of the United Kingdom (48%), Singapore (32%), Australia (28%) and Canada (28%).

Of nine possible threats, 'environmental issues like climate change' and 'water and food shortages' topped the list with 76% and 67% respectively of Chinese adults saying they were a threat to China. 'If Japan were to acquire nuclear weapons' was considered a threat by 61% of Chinese people and 'if the United States tried to restrain China's growing influence' by 59%.

Of five countries, only investment from the Singaporean government secured majority support with 56% of the Chinese public in favour of companies controlled by the Singaporean government trying to buy controlling stakes in major Chinese companies. They were divided over investment from the Canadian and Australian governments but strongly against sovereign investment from the United States and Japan.

The Poll was conducted by telephone in China between 29 August and 13 September 2009 using a sample of 1,200 adults.

The report will be available for download at:

Contact: Orietta Melfi on +61-2-8238-9080

SOURCE: Lowy Institute for International Policy

CONTACT: Orietta Melfi on +61-2-8238-9080,