Only one in five people in 37 nations are confident President Donald Trump will do the right thing when it comes to international issues.
But the United States president enjoys strong support from people in five countries – the Philippines, Vietnam, Nigeria, Israel and Russia.
The information comes from a recent poll of over 40,000 people living in 37 countries by the Pew Research Center of Washington D.C.
In the Philippines, 69 percent of people said they are confident Trump would do the right thing when it comes to international issues. In Vietnam and Nigeria, the percentage is 58 percent. Former President Barack Obama had the confidence of even higher majorities in the three countries.
Trump also has the confidence of a majority of people in Russia and Israel.
In Russia, the percentage of people who believe Trump will do the right thing on international issues is 53 percent. That is up from 11 percent for Obama during his final years in office. In Israel, the percentage is 56 percent, up from 49 percent for Obama.
The median percentage of people having confidence in Trump for all 37 nations surveyed is 22 percent, Pew reported. By median, Pew means there are equal percentages of people falling above or below the median percentage.
Most support in Philippines
It is in the Philippines that people gave Trump the highest confidence ratings.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Trump have enjoyed good relations. Both are known for strongly criticizing political opponents, even when doing so is controversial.
In an April telephone discussion, Trump praised Duterte for doing an "unbelievable job on the drug problem," according to a Philippine government report of the discussion.
Duterte is accused by international human rights groups of supporting a campaign of killing drug suspects in the Philippines. His government has denied the charges. But Reuters reported that almost 9,000 people were killed in the Philippines since Duterte took office on June 30, 2016. Many of them were small-time drug users and dealers,
While a large majority of Filipinos has confidence in Trump’s ability on international issues, Pew said 68 percent disagreed with Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate change agreement.
Vietnamese people show confidence in Trump
People in Vietnam also show confidence in President Trump.
Communist Vietnam has gone from being a Cold War enemy to an important ally to the U.S. in Southeast Asia. Both countries have shared concerns about China’s increased influence in the region.
Vietnam and China have competing claims over the South China Sea, but the disputes have grown worse in recent years. The U.S. has no territorial claims in the area. But the Trump administration has continued to send warships to protect freedom of navigation in the area.
On May 31, Trump met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the White House. The two leaders announced new trade deals between the two countries.
Vietnam's government also reported that Trump and Phuc agreed to increase defense ties and discussed the possibility of U.S. vessels, including aircraft carriers, visiting Vietnamese ports.
Sale of U.S. planes to Nigeria
Nigeria, like the Philippines, has also been known for strong, powerful leaders.
Unlike previous presidents, Trump has rejected critics who charge Nigeria’s security forces with human rights violations. A few months ago, the Trump administration announced plans to sell high-tech airplanes to Nigeria for its campaign against Boko Haram Islamic extremists.
I’m Bruce Alpert.
Bruce Alpert reported on this story for VOA Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.
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Words in This Story
confident - adj. having a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something
poll - n. an activity in which several or many people are asked a question or a series of questions in order to get information about what most people think about something
according - preposition, as stated, reported, or recorded by someone
controversial - adj. relating to or causing much discussion, disagreement, or argument
high-tech - adj. relating to or using new electronic devices and technology
drill - v. to make a hole in something with a drill to pull out resources such as oil and natural gas
aircraft carrier - n. a ship big enough for airplanes to land and takeoff from its deck