Modi most popular leader in the world, but after Xi Jinping: survey
PM Narendra Modi with Xi Jinping. Photo: AP A global survey conducted across 30 countries measuring the confidence citizens have in their own leaders has found that China’s President Xi Jinping enjoys most domestic support in handling domestic and international affairs, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi coming a close second.
The study, which surveyed 26,000 respondents in 30 countries, was conducted by Japanese firm GMO Research, and its findings were published in a research paper released on Thursday by Tony Saich, a professor at Harvard University’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.
Among respondents in each of 10 “key countries” including India, China, the United States, Russia and Japan, the survey found that on the issue of “domestic confidence” in handling domestic and international affairs, Xi was ranked favourably by 94.8 per cent of Chinese respondents on domestic issues and 93.8 per cent on international affairs.
Modi was second, receiving 93.2 per cent domestic confidence on domestic issues and 93.3 per cent on international affairs. He was followed by Russian President Vladimir Putin at 86 per cent on domestic and international affairs – a figure that has likely fallen significantly following Russia’s recent economic meltdown.
Modi’s high rating domestically is especially significant considering the tight constraints on the media and public information in China.
Modi stands out among leaders in democratic countries, the survey finds.
As Harvard’s Saich points out on Xi and Putin’s high ratings, “Leaders do not fare so well in countries where the press and public are more critical of their leaders and policy. Thus, Chancellor Merkel (of Germany) receives 63.2 per cent confidence for her handling of both domestic and international affairs. President Obama enjoys a confidence level in his handling of domestic affairs of 51.7 per cent and 49.1 per cent for international affairs. Poor President Zuma of South Africa comes off worst in both categories with a rating of 12.8 per cent for confidence in his handling of domestic affairs and 18 per
cent for his handling of international affairs”.
In terms of global recognition of leaders, Obama expectedly fares much higher than the rest, with 93.9 per cent of global respondents aware of the US President. Putin came in second, while Xi ranked fourth and Modi eighth with 32.9 per cent.
In terms of global perceptions of world leaders across the 30 countries, German Chancellor Angela Merkel fares better than Xi and Modi, enjoying 79.2 per cent confidence on her handling of domestic affairs and 77.2 per cent on international issues.
Xi comes in second, with 78.5 per cent and 76.5 per cent on domestic and international issues, with Modi third, enjoying 72.5 per cent and 69.8 per cent confidence among respondents in the 30 countries on his handling of domestic and international affairs.