Large majorities of people in countries across Latin America and the Caribbean believe China has at least "some influence" in their region and most see that influence as positive, according to a survey partly funded by the United States government.

The views on China were culled from a broad assessment of public opinion, conducted in 2012, that involved 26 countries and over 41,000 individual interviews, researchers said in issuing their findings at a think-tank seminar in Washington on Thursday.

Only 20 percent of respondents, on average, in the multinational survey described China as the "most influential" country in the region. In response to a separate question, 23 percent said they expect China to have that status within 10 years.

Of those who deemed China "most influential", more than two-thirds (68 percent) characterized that influence as either "positive" or "very positive", according to the findings from the Latin American Public Opinion Project, led by Vanderbilt University in Tennessee with funding from the US Agency for International Development, the government's main conduit for foreign assistance.

Among respondents in the 22 Latin American and Caribbean countries asked about China - including, but not limited to, those who ranked it first in regional influence - the nation was rated neutral to positive along a 1-to-5 scale.

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