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17 Countries Ranked Based On How Australians Feel Towards Them

From the coldest feelings to the warmest.

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The Lowy Institute conducts annual poll to broaden and deepen the debate about Australia’s foreign policy.

The poll includes 'feelings thermometer', which measures Australians' feelings towards a range of other countries on a scale of 0° in temperature (coldest feelings) to 100° (warmest feelings).

These countries have played a prominent role in world events during the year and/or are important to Australia, for strategic, geopolitical, cultural or economic reasons.

17. North Korea

Mark Knight / Via Facebook: Mark.Knight.Ink

Australians’ feelings towards North Korea is at a very cold 29°.

The reclusive nation has maintained its position at the bottom of the barrel for 7 years in a row.

16. Syria

Paul Zanetti / Via Facebook: Paul-Zanetti-Cartoonist

North Korea closest rival for bottom place is Syria (33°).

Fear of terrorism is very strong amongst Australians. 69% considered the emergence of Islamic State in Syria and Iraq as a high risk to their security.

15. Iraq

Mark Knight / Via Facebook: Mark.Knight.Ink

Australians' feelings towards Iraq is at a cold 35°.

More than half considered home-grown terrorism in Australia as a high risk to their security.

Australians' feelings towards Iran and Afghanistan were regarded with a similar coldness in 2014.

Iran and Afghanistan were not included in the latest poll. In 2014, they were rated at a cool 39° and 38° respectively. Many Australians considered Iran's nuclear program posed a critical threat to Australia's vital interests in the next ten years.

14. Russia

Feelings towards Russia is at all time low (45°).

The downing of MH17, which killed 298 people including 38 Australians, has a significant impact on how Australians feel towards Russia.

Also, 67% say they don't admire President Vladimir Putin.

My cartoon Saturday @TheTimes: Putin's deathly tally in Ukraine #malaysianplanecrash

13. Indonesia

Feelings towards Indonesia is at a cold 46°.

The execution of two Australians, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, for drug-trafficking offences was a major blow to the relationship between Australia and Indonesia.

Australia's ambassador to Indonesia was recalled to Australia after the execution.

Added my #drawing "Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan" to PaintingsILove via @paintingsilove

12. Egypt

Australians' feelings towards Egypt is at a cold 48°.

Australian journalist, Peter Greste, was imprisoned for over a year in Egypt before he was deported earlier this year.

Looks like the Egyptian courts have gagged @PeterGreste & his collegues #FreeAJStaff cartoon @theheraldsun

11. Ukraine

Chappatte / Via Facebook: Chappatte-Cartoons

Australians’ feelings towards Ukraine is at an ambivalent 51°.

Ukraine had been included in the poll for the first time this year presumably because of the conflict between the Ukrainian government and the Russian-backed separatists which then lead to the shooting down of MH17.

10. Turkey

Australians feelings towards Turkey is at an ambivalent 53°.

Turkey will preside this year's G20, which Australia is a member of.

Australia was not represented at this year's centenary commemorations of the genocide of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks.

The Armenian Tragedy - © Chappatte in The International New York Times

9. India

Neelabh / Via

Feelings towards India is at a lukewarm 56°.

Despite being on the TIME's 100 Most Influential People list, India's PM, Narendra Modi, is largely unknown in Australia. 66% say they don't know of him.

8. PNG

Australians feelings towards PNG is at a warmish 58°.

A vast majority of Australians agree that stability in PNG is important to Australia's national interest.

More than half disagree that PNG is taking asylum seekers on Manus Island because it wants to help Australia.

The detention centre for refugees on the island has been subjected to scrutiny since it was reopened in 2012. In February 2014, an Iranian inmate died after a riot broke out. There have also been numerous reports of human rights abuse.

Recently, the Australian Border Force Act came into effect. Under the Act, it is a criminal offence, punishable by imprisonment of up to two years, for any person working for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to reveal to the media or any other person or organisation (the only exceptions being the Immigration Department and other Commonwealth agencies, police, coroners) anything that happens in detention centres like Manus Island.

Abbott, PNG & asylum: Orwellian #Manus #refugees Cement in the relationship @davpope cartoon

7. China

Inkcinct / Via Facebook:

Feelings towards China is also at a warmish 58°.

A solid majority see China as more of an economic partner than a military threat.

However, 70% say that the Government allows too much investment in residential real estate from China.

6. Japan

Daryl Cagle / Via Facebook: PoliticalCartoons

Japan is warmly regarded by Australians (68°).

Majority say that free trade agreements with Japan, Korea and China are good for Australia's relations with those countries.

In late 2013 and early 2014, tensions flared between China and Japan over their competing claims of sovereignty to the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea. 84% of Australians say Australia should remain neutral in the event of military conflict between the two countries.

3. USA

Leahy / Via Facebook: leahycartoons

Australians feel very warm towards its security partner, USA (73°).

They see the relationship between the two countries as one of firm friendship.

2. United Kingdom

Leahy / Via Facebook: leahycartoons

Feelings towards the United Kingdom is very warm at 79°.

The vast majority see the UK as an important relationship for Australia due to strong historical and cultural ties.

1. New Zealand

At 83°, New Zealand is the country most warmly regarded by Australians in 2015.

New Zealand has topped the chart on every occasion.

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