Trump Turnbull 01
Trump Turnbull 01
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:13
Mixed reaction to Trump, Turnbull meeting
This photo illustration shows a strawberry on a fork at a restaurant in Sydney on September 19, 2018. - The tainting of supermarket strawberries with sewing needles is comparable to "terrorism", Australia
This photo illustration shows a strawberry on a fork at a restaurant in Sydney on September 19, 2018. - The tainting of supermarket strawberries with sewing needles is comparable to "terrorism", Australia's prime minister said, as he demanded tougher sentencing in response to a nationwide scare. (Photo by Saeed KHAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: SAEED KHAN/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
01:17
Australia strawberry needle scare
PHOTO: Chris Bowles/Instagram
Now playing
00:58
Dozens of homes destroyed in bushfire
A white SUV (L) sits in the middle of the road as police and emergency personnel work at the scene of where a car ran over pedestrians in Flinders Street in Melbourne on December 21, 2017.
The car ploughed into a crowd in Australia
A white SUV (L) sits in the middle of the road as police and emergency personnel work at the scene of where a car ran over pedestrians in Flinders Street in Melbourne on December 21, 2017. The car ploughed into a crowd in Australia's second-largest city on December 21, injuring at least a dozen people, some of them seriously, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / Mark Peterson (Photo credit should read MARK PETERSON/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: MARK PETERSON/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
02:29
Car plows into crowd in Melbourne, 2 arrested
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 15:  People in the crowd celebrate as the result is announced during the Official Melbourne Postal Survey Result Announcement at the State Library of Victoria on November 15, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. Australians have voted for marriage laws to be changed to allow same-sex marriage, with the Yes vote defeating No. Despite the Yes victory, the outcome of Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey is not binding, and the process to change current laws will move to the Australian Parliament in Canberra.  (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 15: People in the crowd celebrate as the result is announced during the Official Melbourne Postal Survey Result Announcement at the State Library of Victoria on November 15, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. Australians have voted for marriage laws to be changed to allow same-sex marriage, with the Yes vote defeating No. Despite the Yes victory, the outcome of Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey is not binding, and the process to change current laws will move to the Australian Parliament in Canberra. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Now playing
01:05
How Australians reacted to same-sex marriage vote
North Sydney federal Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman celebrates with the rainbow flag after parliament passed the same-sex marriage bill in the Federal Parliament in Canberra on December 7, 2017. 
Gay couples will be able to legally marry in Australia after a same-sex marriage bill sailed through parliament on December 7, ending decades of political wrangling. / AFP PHOTO / SEAN DAVEY
North Sydney federal Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman celebrates with the rainbow flag after parliament passed the same-sex marriage bill in the Federal Parliament in Canberra on December 7, 2017. Gay couples will be able to legally marry in Australia after a same-sex marriage bill sailed through parliament on December 7, ending decades of political wrangling. / AFP PHOTO / SEAN DAVEY
PHOTO: SEAN DAVEY/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
01:12
Singing in parliament after same-sex vote
woman train track australia
woman train track australia
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
00:53
Woman stuck on tracks as train enters station
NS Slug: AUSTRALIA: 360 LION CAGE LETS YOU GET UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL  Synopsis: A zoo in in Australia has created at 360 degree cage that allows spectators to see the lions up close.  Keywords: AUSTRALIA SEVEN ANIMALS ZOO LIONS CAGE 360
NS Slug: AUSTRALIA: 360 LION CAGE LETS YOU GET UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL Synopsis: A zoo in in Australia has created at 360 degree cage that allows spectators to see the lions up close. Keywords: AUSTRALIA SEVEN ANIMALS ZOO LIONS CAGE 360
PHOTO: Seven Network
Now playing
00:47
Humans caged, lions roam free
Drake told a fan in the crowd to "stop touching girls" mid-performance
Drake told a fan in the crowd to "stop touching girls" mid-performance
PHOTO: Instagram/louisesukari
Now playing
00:40
Drake tells off fan for 'touching girls'
LADY ELLIOT ISLAND, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 15: Fish are seen swimming around coral formations on January 15, 2012 in Lady Elliot Island, Australia. Lady Elliot Island is one of the three island resorts in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMPA) with the highest designated classification of Marine National Park Zone by GBRMPA. The island of approximately 40 hectares lies 46 nautical miles north-east of the Queensland town of Bundaberg and is the southern-most coral cay of the Great Barrier Reef. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
LADY ELLIOT ISLAND, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 15: Fish are seen swimming around coral formations on January 15, 2012 in Lady Elliot Island, Australia. Lady Elliot Island is one of the three island resorts in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMPA) with the highest designated classification of Marine National Park Zone by GBRMPA. The island of approximately 40 hectares lies 46 nautical miles north-east of the Queensland town of Bundaberg and is the southern-most coral cay of the Great Barrier Reef. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Mark Kolbe/Getty
Now playing
01:08
Watch the Great Barrier Reef create new life
PHOTO: Christmas Island Tourism
Now playing
01:06
Millions of crabs take over Google Street View
Bleached staghorn coral on the Great Barrier Reef
Bleached staghorn coral on the Great Barrier Reef
PHOTO: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
Now playing
00:51
Severe damage to Great Barrier Reef revealed (2017)
great barrier reef coral bleaching wwf orig mg_00000118.jpg
great barrier reef coral bleaching wwf orig mg_00000118.jpg
PHOTO: WWF
Now playing
01:18
Dramatic images of Great Barrier Reef dying
PHOTO: Seven Network
Now playing
01:02
Jogger mauled by kangaroo
A police officer guards a haul of drugs that are on display at an Australian Federal Police office in Sydney, Australia, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016. Officials have seized more than a ton of cocaine worth about 360 million Australian dollars ($260 million) in what police have dubbed one of the largest drug busts in the nation
A police officer guards a haul of drugs that are on display at an Australian Federal Police office in Sydney, Australia, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016. Officials have seized more than a ton of cocaine worth about 360 million Australian dollars ($260 million) in what police have dubbed one of the largest drug busts in the nation's history. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
PHOTO: Rick Rycroft/AP
Now playing
00:53
Massive cocaine bust breaks record
PHOTO: Max Phillips
Now playing
01:33
River set ablaze nearly burns politician
(CNN) —  

Australians trust US President Donald Trump less than Chinese President Xi Jinping, and many view Trump’s presidency as a “critical” threat to their country, according to a national survey published Wednesday.

The 2018 Lowy Institute Poll, an annual survey of Australian views on foreign policy published by an independent think tank, showed that a mere 30% of Australians had confidence in Trump “to do the right thing regarding world affairs,” as opposed to 43% feeling confident in Xi.

It follows a tumultuous year for Australia’s foreign relations which saw the relationship with both Washington and Beijing fluctuate amid a changing power dynamic in Asia.

Relations between Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the newly elected US leader got off to a shaky start following a heated first phone call, while concerns over Chinese interference in Australian politics frayed ties with Beijing towards the end of 2017.

“The fluctuation with the United States stems from a disappointment – one is our ally and one isn’t and I suspect our expectations are higher with the US. When we hit a rocky patch in relations between the US and Australia, or their leaders, that puts us on edge,” Lowy Institute’s Director of Research Alex Oliver said.

The new survey shows only 55% of adults surveyed trust the US to “act responsibly in the world,” a 28-point drop from 2011 and the lowest percentage ever recorded in the survey.

Beijing in comparison was ranked almost equal to America, with 52% of respondents trusting both countries equally. The UK, Japan, France and India all had higher levels of trust in Australia than both countries.

Perhaps even more worrying for the United States is that 42% of Australians said “Trump’s presidency” is a critical threat to their country – higher than foreign political interference (41%), migration (40%) and China’s growing power (36%).

Although the Lowy Institute didn’t ask Australians about their confidence in former US President Barack Obama during his time in office, Oliver said he was very popular across the country.

“In our 2015 survey he was the most admired leader, amongst a group of leaders which included Pope Francis, Angela Merkel and Hillary Clinton,” she said.

Concerns over political interference

Almost one-in-three of those surveyed were concerned about China’s influence in Australia’s political processes, a topic which has received a lot of attention since December.

At the end of last year, Prime Minister Turnbull announced sweeping legislation to crack down on foreign interference in Australia, after an opposition Labor Party senator was forced to resign over accusations of undue influence from Beijing.

But Oliver pointed out that Australians’ impressions of Beijing were actually mostly unchanged despite the huge emphasis placed on interference in recent months.

“Sentiments to China haven’t shifted since last year, so despite this debate and despite China’s apparent umbrage at Australia for taking too firm a stance on foreign interference, it hasn’t affected ordinary Australians’ feelings,” she said.

In fact, almost an equal number of Australians are concerned over US influence in the country, 58% of those surveyed compared to 63% worried about Chinese influence.

The survey shows Australians are also concerned about the level of Chinese investment in the country. Seventy-two percent of adults said the government allowed “too much investment from China,” up from 56% in 2014.

However the survey noted Australians believe “that China represents more of an opportunity than a threat, and that Australia should be able to maintain good relationships with China and the United States at the same time.”

Eighty-two percent saw China more as an economic partner than a military threat, and despite Trump’s unpopularity, over three quarters of respondents supported the US alliance. Fifty-five percent said they viewed China as the world’s leading economic power.

“They’re wary of (Beijing) in a number of respects, but that doesn’t dent the confidence this is an important relationship,” Oliver said.