Filipinos have “little trust” in China, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted two weeks before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) issued its ruling on the case filed by the Philippines against China last week questioning Beijing’s claims on the West Philippine Sea.
The survey, conducted from June 24 to 27 among 1,200 adults nationwide, showed that 51 percent of those polled have little trust in China while 27 percent have much trust in the Asian giant, resulting in a net trust rating of -24.
The figure was lower than the -37 posted in April where gross trust in China was 18 percent and gross distrust was 56 percent.
The SWS noted that China’s net trust rating had been “bad” from March 2015 to April 2016, hitting a record-low -46 in September last year.
But its latest net trust score of a “poor” -24 last month was the highest since March 2014’s “poor” -15.
On July 12, the PCA ruled that China had no historic title over the West Philippine Sea and that it violated the rights of the Philippines when it put up structures in contested islands and drove out Filipino fishermen.
The United States, Japan, Australia and the European Union, among others, have pressed China to honor the ruling.
However, Beijing was unwavering in its stance to ignore the ruling, saying it is null and void. China has threatened to set up an air defense identification zone in the South China Sea. It also revealed a plan to build more mobile nuclear plants in the area.