“Australians remain positive about globalisation and free trade, and far fewer see COVID-19 as a threat in 2022.”
Trust in China at record-low
And the majority of Australians (65 per cent) see China’s foreign policy as a “critical threat” over the next decade – up 29 points from 2017.
For the first time, a majority of Australians (51 per cent) say they would be in favour of using the Australian military if China invaded Taiwan and the United States decided to intervene.
The data also revealed 88 per cent of Australians are either “very” or “somewhat” concerned about China potentially opening a military base in a Pacific Island country.
‘Almost all’ Australians concerned about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Only 5 per cent of respondents said they trusted Russia “somewhat” or “a great deal” to act responsibly in the world, which represents a 21-point fall from 2021 and makes Russia the country least-trusted by Australians.
Six per cent of Australians have ‘a lot’ or ‘some’ confidence in Russia’s president Vladimir Putin to do the right thing in world affairs. Source: Getty / Getty Images/TASS
When it comes to world leaders, the report said 6 per cent of Australians have “a lot” or “some” confidence in Russia’s president Vladimir Putin to do the right thing in world affairs, a ten-point decline since 2021.
Climate change still considered a critical threat
However, 10 per cent said Australia should not take any steps that would have economic costs “until we are sure that global warming is really a problem”.
The vast majority of respondents (90 per cent) said they support federal government subsidies for renewable energy technology, and 77 per cent are in favour of a more ambitious emissions target for 2030.
Are Australians still concerned about COVID-19?
The perceived threat of COVID-19 (and other potential epidemics) continued on a downward trajectory, with only 42 per cent believing they pose a critical threat to Australia’s vital interest in the next 10 years.
The poll surveyed 2,006 Australian adults between 15 and 28 March this year, and were randomly recruited via their landline or mobile phone or via their address, with a margin of error of 2.2 per cent.
Regional security concerns
“Malaysia’s position remains the same. I have mentioned that to the foreign minister.”
Foreign Minister Penny Wong, left, speaks during a press conference after meeting with Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah during visit to Foreign Ministry in Putrajaya, Malaysia. Source: AP / Vincent Thian/AP
Senator Wong said she appreciated the opportunity “to explain how we see AUKUS to [ Mr Saifuddin] and to other counterparts during recent visits to Vietnam and Indonesia.”
“Australia will always operate on the basis that we have this objective of a region that is peaceful, a region that is stable, a region that is prosperous, a region in which sovereignty is respected.”
Nuclear submarines by 2030 ‘optimistic’
“We need to look at options of bringing all of that forward … [and] how we can get that submarine in service sooner rather than later.”
Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles. Source: AAP / James Ross
Defence heads have previously told government officials there was an aim to have at least one nuclear-powered submarine in the water by 2040.