May 18, 2020 / 5:03 PM / 18 days ago

Coronavirus turns Germans more critical of U.S.: survey

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel pose for the family photo during the annual NATO heads of government summit at the Grove Hotel in Watford, Britain December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/Pool

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germans view the United States less positively since the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis while their attitudes towards China have improved, a survey showed on Monday.

In the poll of 1,000 Germans conducted by Kantar Public for the Koerber Foundation, 73% stated their opinion about the United States had deteriorated due to the current health crisis.

This contrasted with 36% of respondents who said their views about China, where the new coronavirus was discovered late last year, had become more negative due to the pandemic.

One out of four survey participants said that their opinion of China had improved. Still, 71% backed the statement that China could have been more transparent in its crisis management to slow down the spread of the virus.

The shift in attitudes means that only 37% of Germans still want closer ties with the United States, sharply down from 50% in the last survey conducted in September 2019.

This compares with 36% who are in favour of closer ties with China, clearly up from 24% in the previous pool.

“Germans’ scepticism about the United States is growing, a worrying trend that should give political decision-makers on both sides of the Atlantic food for thought”, said Nora Mueller, an expert on international affairs at the Koerber Foundation.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber, Editing by William Maclean

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