New Delhi: As China flexes its muscles over territorial claims in the South and East China Seas, concerns are rising that friction between Beijing and its neighbors will lead to military conflict.
According to a new survey by Pew Research Center, majorities in eight of 11 Asian countries surveyed are "very concerned" about a possible military confrontation with Beijing.
Almost 72 per cent Indians believe that border disputes with China could lead to a military conflict.
While a majority of Indians (62 per cent) see Pakistan as a big threat, almost an equal number list both China (30%) and al-Qaida (28%) as threats to India.
In China itself, over 60 percent are concerned about a possible conflict.
China has been embroiled in territorial disputes with its neighbors for centuries, but its growing assertiveness about its rights in the region has escalated tensions in the past year.
The survey says China is listed as the greatest threat in three countries that have major territorial grievances with Beijing: Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam.
In contrast, Pakistanis, Chinese and Malaysians name the US as the biggest threat to their country.
While China's increasing power generates concerns among some in Asia and around the globe, its economic growth also presents opportunities for many.
China's strongest supporters are Pakistanis (78%) and Bangladeshis (77%).
India gets its most favorable ratings from Bangladeshis (70%) and Vietnamese (67%). Other countries with favourable approval rating for India are Japan (63%), and the US (55%).
Japan's highest favorability is among Thais (81%) and Filipinos (80%). Pakistan's best friends are Indonesians (52%) and Bangladeshis (50%), fellow Muslim-majority countries.
Across the nations surveyed, an average of 53% say that China's growing economy is a good thing for their own country; just 27% describe this as a bad thing.
Almost 46% of Indians believe China's growing economy is good for India. That does not mean that Indians have abiding faith in Xi Jinping. A quarter of Indians say they don't think he will do the right thing in world affairs.
Pakistanis are strongly anti-American with just 14% expressing a favourable assessment of the US while 59% are unfavourable.
The Middle East is the sole region where anti-Americanism is both deep and widespread.
Eighty-five per cent of Egyptians and Jordanians and 73% of Turks voice a negative opinion of the United States.
Only 10% of Egyptians, 12% of Jordanians and 19% of Turks have a favourable view.
Meanwhile, half of all Indians see the US as their country's “most dependable future ally”. Russia came second at 29% and Japan a close third at 26%.
Only a third felt it was “unacceptable” for the US to monitor foreign citizens or foreign leaders and only 36% said they were against the use of drones.
Young Indians are more favourably inclined to the US than their elders. Nearly 60% of Indians between 18 and 29 gave America the thumbs up, compared to 47% over the age of 50.
The number of Indians who feel China will replace the US as the world's superpower is matched by those skeptical about the possibility.
Some 47% of Indians still rate the US as the world's leading economy, which is seven percentage points more than Americans do.