NAIROBI — A large percentage of Kenyans believe China is a partner of greatest benefit according to the latest survey conducted by research firm IPSOS.

34 percent of those interviewed believe that Kenya stands a higher chance of developing economically with China as a partner compared to 26 percent who are in favor the United States.

IPSOS research analyst Tom Wolf says the positive score by China is a result of growing cooperation in the areas of infrastructure security education and culture.

The policy of non-interference on internal affairs of other countries also seems to be working in favor of the Communist Party-led nation.

Overall the approval of the continuing bilateral relations between Kenya and China is on an upward trajectory.

Outside of Eastern African we asked which foreign country do you think is most important for Kenyans to have good relations with and in the first place is China followed by the USA 8 percentage points behind and all the others very few mentions. Noted Wolf.

Kenya’s foreign relations approval poll places China at 34% USA comes second with 26% South Africa is third with 5% while the United Kingdom comes fourth with 4% approval. Germany crowns the top five with a meager 2 % support.

These findings show that China got a much higher positive opinion despite the US having a much bigger ‘footprint’ in the country in terms of the duration of its presence and greater cultural proximity. He added

Tom Wolf a long-serving IPSOS lead researcher disclosed that a good number of those polled hold the opinion that Kenya has benefited greatly especially in the area of the economy since the country embraced the Asian economic powerhouse.

We asked what’s the main reason that you say is most important to have good relations with China or the US? For both it’s the economic benefits with 14 percent more of those who mentioned China mentioning economic benefit. In fact 95 percent almost all of the mentions for China almost entirely were of economic nature. Said Wolf during the release of the survey.

According to the survey the declining positive outlook of the US could be as a result of its perceived meddling in the country’s internal affairs. The survey however established that the same does not apply to China.

The biggest one besides the economic issues is interference or undermining of elections. We know all the complaints which the opposition leader Raila Odinga made about the US and western diplomats.

There was no mention about China in elections whatsoever. I don’t think the Chinese said anything. It’s very unusual to hear the Chinese in Kenya making comments about politics. Wolf stated

A small percentage of those polled however still hold the view that China and the US constitute the biggest threat to Kenya’s economic and political development.

On this there is no real statistical difference. But when we look at the reasons economic issues are way at the top with China. Those worried about the US cite its anti-terrorism support which they say makes attacks more likely in Kenya. The survey established.

Besides Foreign countries and Kenya’s development the survey also covered topics such as Human rights awareness devolution and political party alignments.