Download the APAC Geopolitical Risk Report: H2 2023

Global Politics

APAC Geopolitical Risk Outlook: H2 2023 Report

August 2023

Report summary

Morning Consult’s Asia-Pacific Geopolitical Risk Outlook Report provides a comprehensive, data-driven assessment of public attitudes toward key issues at the intersection of politics and economics across five major APAC markets: Australia, China, India, Japan and South Korea.

It includes an Executive Dashboard to guide decision-makers through issue- and country-specific risks and opportunities, along with topical outlooks that facilitate more targeted assessments.

Corporate executives, risk management and financial services professionals, insurers, and public sector entities rely on our outlook reports to understand how public opinion is trending across key issues, and plan accordingly.

Key Takeaways

  • COVID-19 in China and Asia-Pacific: The share of Chinese adults who view COVID-19 as a “major threat” declined 44 percentage points from December 2022 to June 2023, compared with a smaller 15-point drop in average regional views.
  • Regional security dynamics: As relations between China and other regional markets remain strained, public demand for strong defense forces is exceptionally robust. Everywhere but Japan, roughly 9 in 10 adults say it is important for their country to maintain such forces over the next decade. We expect this trend to persist.
  • Climate & the economy: Amid persistent global economic headwinds, majorities of Indians, Japanese and South Koreans continue to view climate change as a major threat. The trend suggests that regional interest in environmental stewardship is not contingent upon favorable economic views — and parallels findings in our global report.
  • China: As Beijing has turned inward diplomatically, so too has the Chinese public. Adults’ support for isolationism has risen 9 percentage points over the past year. Misalignment between Chinese policymaking and public views, meanwhile, raises potential risks. Despite Beijing’s recent crackdown on foreign businesses, an overwhelming majority of Chinese want more foreign investment.
  • Japan: Renewed optimism is evident among Japanese adults. Rebounding consumer confidence since the start of the year has coincided with an 11-point rise in the share of Japanese who believe their country is economically stable, albeit from a low base. Public sentiment, meanwhile, remains in line with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s outward foreign policy pivot, partly driven by growing threats from China and the Russia-Ukraine war.
  • Australia, India: Trends across key indicators in both Australia and India are relatively mixed. We anticipate muted risks and opportunities in both markets absent major swings in sentiment in the coming months.
  • South Korea: South Koreans have soured on businesses and the economy over the past six months, hinting at underlying stressors that are worth monitoring heading further into 2023. Concerns about data privacy and a challenging business climate, coupled with worsening views of the legal system, will compound the risks of both economic and political instability.

About the author

A headshot photograph of Scott Moskowitz
Scott Moskowitz
Senior Analyst, APAC

Scott Moskowitz is senior analyst for the Asia-Pacific region at Morning Consult, where he leads geopolitical analysis of China and broader regional issues. Scott holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University and has years of experience working in and conducting Mandarin-language research on China, with an emphasis on the politics of economic development and consumerism. Follow him on Twitter @ScottyMoskowitz. Interested in connecting with Scott to discuss his analysis or for a media engagement or speaking opportunity? Email [email protected].