August 4th, 2008
04:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Poll: Americans wary of China's economic, military strength

A new poll shows Americans think Bush should attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.
A new poll shows Americans think Bush should attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.

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.


Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (124 Responses)
  1. Informed Voter

    China Owns Bush . . He is afraid if he goes there he will not be coming back . . LMAO

    August 4, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  2. LB

    Competetor? We owe them billions of dollars. They already own us, and unless we get Obama in office to stop the war in Iraq and start paying off that debt to China they may start to take over this country.

    August 4, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  3. Griff

    Maybe they see the weakness in Obama... "The Guy who bends in a Breeze"

    August 4, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  4. An American

    Breaking: After responding to the poll, 90% of Americans rushed out to Walmart to buy more crap made in China.

    Anybody else remember when Walmart used to pride themselves on selling things made in the USA?

    August 4, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. Sherry, Atlanta

    THANKS TO BUSH...AND HIM TRYING TO PAY FOR IRAQ WAR

    August 4, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. Cheryl Wilson

    Americans best wake up out of your slumber. China is a threat on all fronts. My nephew is a lieutenant in the US Army and my first cousin works intelligence at the Pentagon. The Middle East is not as dangerous as China. There are 1.3 billion people in China. China's army is huge. China is now the super military power in the world. Also, economically, everything is shifting to the east. We are having problems economically in the US because for the longest time we held the number one spot at the table. Not anymore. There are other countries that are even with the US vying for top dog economically. China is one of them. That is part of the reason that America has been brought to her knees economically. I was hoping that either McCain or Obama would discuss this issue of China being the super power in the world today.

    August 4, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. David Goldman,Los Angeles, CA

    WHY AREN'T AMERICANS WARY OF THE CURRENT

    ADMINISTRATION & ITS SUPPORTERS THAT PUT US

    IN 10 TRILLION DOLLAR DEBT TO CHINA.

    August 4, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. An American

    Griff
    August 4th, 2008 4:59 pm ET

    'Maybe they see the weakness in Obama… "The Guy who bends in a Breeze"'

    Hey Griff, is that the new GOP talking point? What has the GOP done for me lately?

    August 4, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  9. RDS

    Of course they're an economic threat, don't you realize how much money we have borrowed from them to support the war! All the imports coming in building the deficit. Before long American citizens are going to be walking around with MADE IN CHINA labels on their arses...

    August 4, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  10. Janet

    We'd better make sure our children learn a foreign language like Chinese. They will need to work with these people in the future.

    August 4, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  11. Sherry, Atlanta

    BUSH SOLD OUT AMERICA. WHY IS BUSH STILL IN OFFICE?

    JOHN MCCAIN, IS A BUSH 'CLONE'

    August 4, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  12. McCain:SmallWeakCowardlyManOffersMoreOfTheSame TearsOthersDownToBuildHimselfUp

    But what about the surge? The surge, my friends. Did I mention the surge? The surge worked, we have won (again). Now that the surge has worked, we're going to try the same thing everywhere else in the Middle East and beyond. The surge has made us more safe. Maliki endorsed the surge (actually, idiot it was the timetable). The surge ... the surge ... the surge ... To China with the surge, my friends. It is the answer to any question about war.

    August 4, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  13. 11 Bravo

    Bush has got us so deep in debt with China, he'll attend the olympics and jump through flaming hoops if they tell him to.

    August 4, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  14. David Goldman,Los Angeles, CA

    GRIFF,

    I WOULDN'T TALK ABOUT BENDING IF I WERE YOU.

    August 4, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  15. Nick from Syracuse

    If we're going to improve our world image as Americans then we need to stop looking at everyone as a potential enemy. Shouldn't every nation have a right to grow and prosper? Let alone one that's home to over one billion people. If we start saying "hey you can't do this or you can't do that" then we're nothing more than a military empire and we all know how long those last.

    August 4, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  16. karen-phoenix

    If we don't get Obama in, McCain will sell off what is left of us and put all our granddaughters and grandsons in the draft!!! McCain had 26 years to change! Nothing but more Bush!!! NO OLD experience in Washington again. Pray for Obama!!!

    August 4, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  17. Patrick Henry, Fort Myers

    I don't believe Americans are wary of the power–as much as they are worried about Chinese products–particularly food additives, pharmaceuticals, vitamins, animal feed–than could cause health/safety issues.

    If we become too trusting or to dependant of a nation–whose political and social ideals are of our own we may leave ourselves quite vulnerable to military aggression–preceded by multi-pronged domestic sabotage.

    August 4, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  18. Joel in Corona

    "The public is increasingly critical of China, and worried about China's growing economic power," Welcome to 1998...

    August 4, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  19. Joel in Corona

    BTW – The Clinton's are tight with the Chinese, too.

    August 4, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  20. Silence Dogood

    Obama will straighten this all out. He will go over there ask them if they want change, talk a lot to everyone, grin, and everything will be all right!

    Check out the Green Party for real policy change.
    No grin – the situation in this country is not funny.
    No Empty Suit – we need real substantial change.
    No politics as usual – Empty Suit is just repeating old policy.

    August 4, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  21. Mike from L.A.

    As much of a threat as a bill collector times 2 Billion!
    Thanks for those stimulus checks, China. Bare with us, will be a while before we pay it back :)

    But this threat, I wouldn't be quick to labeling them anything and starting stupid wars. Unlike Iraq, these guys will fight back!

    August 4, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  22. FL4Obama

    I have real concerns that McCain's adoption of Bush's policies will only continue to indebt our children to foreign nations, such as China.

    Please vote for fiscal responsibility as demonstrated in a campaign–Obama '08.

    August 4, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  23. Texas Trail Dog!

    China has always been an economical threat and a military threat. To think otherwise would be follow. THE SUBJECT OF HILLARY AS OBAMA'S RUNNING MATE HAS ARISEN AGAIN CNN's JACK CAFFERTY READ OFF OF HIS BLOGS WELL CHOSEN 10-12 BLOGS GIVING NEGATIVE COMMENTS ABOUT THE CLINTONS. WE ALL KNOW WHERE THE DRUNK CAFFERTY STANDS ON THE CLINTONS. WHY HE IS GIVEN ANY CREDIBILITY IS BEYOND ME. WHY HE CAN'T READ THE BLOGS 50-50 IS TRYING TO PUT OVER ON THE AMERICAN PUBLIC THAT NO ONE WANTS HILLARY AS OBAMA'S RUNNING MATE. CAFFERTY IS TO BE PITIED. ONE THING I DO AGREE WITH IS THE FACT THAT HILLARY WOULD BE STUPID TO ACCEPT A SPOT ON THE TICKET EVEN IF OFFERED. NONE OF US HER SUPPORTERS WANT HER THERE. NOT NOW. OBAMA YOU WILL SINK BY YOURSELF. YOU AND YOUR IGNORANT SUPPORTERS.

    August 4, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  24. Bushwhacked in Eugene, OR

    Our government has been selling our country to China for years now. They own us. What's not to be suspicious about?

    August 4, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  25. GERRY

    WE SHOULD BE WARY OF CHINA'S ECONOMIC STRENGTH. LOOK AT THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THE U.S. INDENTED TO CHINA FOR.
    LOOK AT THE AMOUNT OF PROPERTY AND INDUSTRIES IS OWNED IN THE U.S. BY THE CHINESE. I DON'T THINK THE CHINESE ARE A THREAT TO THE U.S. PRIMARILY BECAUSE OF THE AMOUNT WE ARE INDEBTED TO THEM AND THE AMOUNT THEY HAVE INVESTED IN THE U.S. BY THE CHINESE HAVING ANY
    MILITARY ACTION AGAINST THE U.S. WOULD DETERIOATE THEIR
    ECONOMY AND HAVE NOTHING TO GAIN.

    August 4, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
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