U.S. Public Concerned About China as Economic Competitor, World Threat

With China a key foreign policy issue in the 2012 presidential contest, and both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney promising to “get tough” with the Asian power, the American public expresses both positive and negative views about China and U.S. policy towards it.

Nearly two-thirds describe relations between the U.S. and China as good, and most consider China a competitor rather than an enemy. At the same time, majorities say the U.S. cannot trust China and that the Asian nation does not consider the interests of other countries when making foreign policy decisions. When it comes to dealing with China, as many say being tough with China on economic issues is a very important priority for the U.S. as say the same about building a strong bilateral relationship.

Despite generally positive assessments of U.S.-China relations, Americans are clearly concerned about China's growing economic strength and its impact on the United States. Most consider the large amount of American debt held by China, the loss of U.S. jobs to China and the U.S. trade deficit with China to be very serious problems, and about half say the Asian nation's emergence as a world power poses a major threat to America.

Read the full report, U.S. Public, Experts Differ on China Policies, on the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project website.