More Americans have negative views of China, worry about Beijing-Moscow ties: Pew poll

According to the survey, 82 per cent of Americans have unfavourable opinions of China today. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON - Around nine in 10 American adults say Russia's "partnership" with China is at least a somewhat serious problem for the United States.

And a 62 per cent majority say it is a very serious problem - more than those who say the same about any of the other six problems asked about, in a Pew Research survey in late March, of 3,581 American adults.

Among the other questions asked were opinions on China's involvement in politics in the US, its policies on human rights, and tensions between China and Taiwan.

"China's power and influence is also seen as a growing threat to the US," said the survey report. "Today, two-thirds describe China as a major threat - up 5 percentage points since 2020 and 23 points since the question was first asked in 2013."

It added: "Notably... this is similar to the share who describe Russia's power and influence as a major threat (64 per cent) to the US."

In fact, majorities of Americans see China as a competitor - but Russia as an "enemy".

Pew said: "Unfavourable views of China are at a new high."

Today, 82 per cent of Americans have unfavourable opinions of China. Of these, 42 per cent have somewhat unfavourable views, while 40 per cent hold very unfavourable views.

"This is a six-point increase in negative views from 2021 and a new high since the centre began asking this question on its American Trends Panel (ATP) in 2020," said Pew in a statement.

The ATP is Pew's nationally representative online survey panel, composed of more than 10,000 adults randomly selected from across the country.

Alongside the specific concern about the China-Russia relationship is a sense that China is a global superpower, Pew found.

"Two-thirds (66 per cent) of US adults say China's influence on the world stage has been getting stronger in recent years."

Attitudes, however, differ by political partisanship. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say the China-US economic relationship is bad and to prioritise getting tough on China on economic issues.

Views of the world's leading economic power also differ by partisanship, with 49 per cent of Republicans naming China as the top economic power and 39 per cent of Democrats saying the same. But the share of Republicans naming China as the top economic power has almost doubled since 2020, while Democratic views on China's economic dominance have remained largely unchanged.

"As has consistently been the case in recent years, Republicans and independents who lean towards the Republican Party tend to have more negative views of China than Democrats and independents who lean towards the Democratic Party - 89 per cent versus 79 per cent, respectively," said Pew.

"Republicans are also more likely to call China an enemy than Democrats and to describe China's power and influence as a major threat to the US."

Americans who think that the American economy is in poor shape, are particularly likely to describe China as the world's leading economy, Pew found.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.