A global opinion poll released by the World Economic Forum on Sunday reported that the public overwhelmingly favors multilateral cooperation and rejects the notion that a country's best interest is achieved at the expense of others.
A clear majority of people in all regions of the world said they believe that cooperation between nations is either extremely or very important. It also found that a large majority of those surveyed reject the notion that national improvement is a zero-sum game.
Different parts of the world, however, differ in their views. Asked how important it is that countries work together toward a common goal, a global average of 76 percent said they believe it is either extremely important or very important.
These sentiments are felt most strongly in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, where 88 percent share the same view. At the other end of the scale, only 61 percent of Western Europeans and 70 percent of North Americans say they consider cooperation to be extremely or very important.
The rate is 86 percent in China, 81 percent in Brazil, 67 percent in the United States, 57 percent in Britain, and 46 percent in France.
The research, covering 10,000 people from every part of the world, including 843 in China, was commissioned to SAP and Qualtrics ahead of the WEF annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, from Jan 22-25.
Asked whether their country has a responsibility to help other countries in the world, South Asians again registered the highest levels of concurrence, with 94 percent answering positively compared to a global average of 72 percent.
North Americans and Western Europeans were the least effusive, with only 61 percent and 63 percent respectively answering in the affirmative.