WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll suggests that most Americans think China is an economic threat to the United States, while the public is split on whether it is a military threat.
Seventy percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Monday afternoon said China is an economic threat to the United States, while 51 percent said it's a military threat as well.
The poll was released on the day President Bush left on a trip that will ultimately lead him to Beijing and the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics.
CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider said that "according to a new study by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a growing number of Americans believe China's economy will one day be larger than that of the United States and that China will become America's chief competitor for power."
On human rights issues, the poll found Americans seem to be critical of China's stance toward Tibet, which it incorporated in 1951.
"What about Tibet - one of the biggest political issues that may emerge during the Games?" said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Eight in 10 Americans believe that Tibet should be an independent country; only 14 percent think that Tibet should be a part of China."
The president's announcement earlier this year that he was going to attend the opening ceremony met with criticism from a number of politicians and from Chinese dissidents. But the new survey indicates that Americans are OK with the president's attendance. Sixty-three percent of those questioned supported his decision to go.
"The public is increasingly critical of China, and worried about China's growing economic power," Schneider said. "But Americans don't endorse outright hostility. Especially at the Olympic Games, which are not supposed to be political."
The poll was conducted July 27 through 29. A total of 1,041 adult Americans were interviewed, but the questions on China being a threat and on Tibet were asked of half samples. The sampling error for those three questions is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points, while the sampling error for the question on Bush is plus or minus 3 percentage points.