Public Opinion Polls (i.e., Gallup) both in the United States and Canada view China's rise as an "unfavorable" factor and a future threat for the national economies and securities. In fact, 52 percent of Canadians oppose free trade agreements with China and do not support engagement with Asia in general.Whereas in the U.S., even if majority of respondents view China as growing (and faster than the U.S.), 53 percent share unfavorable opinion about the People's Republic of China (PRC), and that percentage is on rise.
Possibly, if similar poll is conducted in Hong Kong or Taiwan, among other anti-mainland China regions of the PRC, the results will be echoing the U.S.' and Canada's. However, today, while fighting for their rights, Hong Kongers and Taiwanese realize their dependency on political decisions made solely by Beijing. And, that complicates "true wants" and long-term goals of the two 'potential democracies'. In order to safeguard individual or corporate interests, Hong Kongers should be realistic and negotiate a deal with mainland China, as the latter is not rushing to follow the Sino-British Joint Declaration (1984) on granting eventual universal suffrage to "Asia's world city". The case of Taiwan is slightly different, and the island has far more independence (therefore it can yell at China) from Beijing's desires.
During his interview in Washington, DC with the journalist from the Foreign Policy (FP), Ambassador Cui points out the major difference between the U.S.' understanding of the "rule of law" and Chinese interpretation of it. Questioned (with criticism in voice) about recent life sentenced Uyghur scholar (human rights activist), Chinese Ambassador claims that Beijing treats Xinjiang equally and that everyone in China should obey the law. Strangely enough, he did not mention how unequally (advantaged) treated people of the Communist Party get, especially when it comes to issues of corruption, abuse of political power, and so forth.
Apparently, for Chinese (or, at least official representatives of mainland China) "rule of law" is above everything the society strives for: and, there is no connection between human rights (or other principles of democracy) and following the law of the land. Some Chinese media outlets, actually, brave enough to talk about democracy; however, backing Chinese government, they shout about ill-nature of democracies in the world, emphasizing that such regimes do not recognize human nature, which is ought to be selfish and seeking empowerment even if it limits space for development of another counterpart.
Even if the majority of Americans see China's economic and even military (not fully true in reality) superiority in the world, plentiful number of sources (newspaper/journal articles, books, and electronic publications) highlight that Chinese soft power is lagging behind of the U.S.', for example, which adds to "unfavorability" of the rising power by the rest of the world. As China knows how to ignore the public's opinion (and, it does that flexibly using its authoritarian power in the region), the government enjoys that ability fully at every corner of Beijing's limitless reach. Controlling individual interests of the Chinese population, the Communist Government has created a strong feeling of dependency among the population. Even Hong Kongers fear experiencing politico-economic attacks from Beijing, therefore, portrait their vulnerability in the streets of the city (i.e., Occupy Central) that feeds not only its seven-million population, but also the increasing influx of migrants from mainland China.
Today, Chinese politicians might get away with civil unrest in Hong Kong and Taiwan and seem to absolutely ignore public opinion polls from the West; however, the other "no-mention" TWO Ts (Tiananmen and Tibet) seem not be successfully repeated with the use of aggressive power of Beijing anymore. And, that is not only because of international pressure on 'more involved' China; but, also, thanks to (even if still fragmented) yet expanding voice of freedom in different angles of the PRC and its zones of influence. Possibly, current public opinion polls taking place in Canada and the United States would serve their mission in future and help people of Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Taiwan, and Tibet to raise their voices even louder, so that the Communist Party, powerfully residing in Beijing, would not be able to blame politico-economic deafness for ignoring the democratic rise, as the latter would be too popular in mainland China as well.