The survey is topped by China with 31 per cent, followed by Japan (28 per cent), Singapore (12 per cent), Indonesia (9 per cent) and India (5 per cent).
The new findings, released in the Tenth Lowy Institute poll 2014, found that China had as much of claim to the title of 'best friend' as Japan.
According to the survey, Australians have mixed feelings towards China as the best friend and a great military threat. The nation-wide survey of over 1000 adults asked respondents to choose between Japan, China, Indonesia, India, Singapore and South Korea and 31 per cent favoured China.
However, in the 'feelings thermometer' segment which measured participants' feelings towards 21 countries, New Zealand emerged as the most warmly regarded at 84 degree.
"In the view of almost half the Australian population (48 per cent), it is likely that China will become a military threat to Australia in the next 20 years, a significant increase of seven points from last year. Age and gender make little difference in Australians' perceptions of this threat," the survey said.
The survey also reported that almost 76 per cent of Australians believed the best target population for the country in the next 40 years was 30 million people or more.
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