© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People overlook the skyline of the Central Business District on a polluted day in Beijing, China, November 5, 2021. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Unfavorable opinions of China among Americans are at a new high, with more than 90% of U.S. adults saying China’s partnership with Russia is a problem for the United States, a survey released on Thursday by the Pew Research Center showed.
Negative views toward China in the United States and many other advanced economies have soared in recent years, as Western governments have complained of the increasingly powerful country using economic and military coercion to exert its will around the world.
China and Russia also have developed closer ties, including the announcement of a “no limits” partnership in February, just weeks before Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, which Beijing has yet to condemn.
Two-thirds of those who took part in the Pew survey of 3,581 American adults conducted in March described China as a major threat – up 5 percentage points since 2020 and 23 points since the question was first asked in 2013, the U.S.-based Pew said.
The number of Americans who have unfavorable views of China increased 6 points over 2021 to 82%, a new high, Pew said.
“Americans are acutely concerned about the partnership between China and Russia,” Pew said, with 92% of people surveyed calling it at least a somewhat serious problem for the United States. A 62% majority said it was a “very serious problem,” it said.
An increasing number of Americans – 43% – also see China as the world’s top economy, up 11 percentage points since 2020 and now on par with those who see the United States as the leader, the survey showed.
Republicans tend to have more negative views of China than Democrats and are more likely to support tough economic measures against Beijing, Pew said.
U.S.-China relations have deteriorated sharply in recent years, and U.S. President Joe Biden has vowed that Beijing will not replace the United States as the world’s global leader on his watch.
The Biden administration has said China will face serious consequences if it gives material support for Russia’s war effort in Ukraine, but that so far it has not seen evidence of this.