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. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA

    TRULY ALL WEAKNESSES COME FROM WITHIN.

    WE HAVE BUSH AS AN UNACCOUNTABLE PRESIDENT.

    WE HAVE A MORON WANTING TO CONTINUE HIS POLICIES.

    WE DID IT TO OUR SELVES BY ALLOWING OUR "ELECTED"

    MORONS TO PUT US IN MENTAL & PHYSICAL PRISON,

    WHILE THEY BREAK ALL THE LAWS OF THIS COUNTRY

    WITHOUT ANY PENALTIES & WHILE ROBING US BLIND.

    August 4, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  2. Shari, NY

    I would not be surprised. Many people are not even aware that even some of the most basic products they have at home are made in China. hope that the next President that we elect will be the one to allay the fears that seem to have some people in a stranglehold. We need someone who can be a "citizen of the world" and while we scoff at learning a foreign language we had better kick ignorance to the curb and get with it for "the times for they are a changin'".

    August 4, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  3. Chicago Red

    To Griff August 4th, 2008 4:59 pm ET
    Maybe they see the weakness in Obama… "The Guy who bends in a Breeze..You were born Bent .....SUCKER!!!

    August 4, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  4. Jeronimo in NYC

    Spot On DGinLA:

    Hey Griff, If I were the Chinese I'd be wary of your "bending @ the knees AND your queefing out that rubber scented breeze."

    August 4, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  5. California Gold

    I pray W can behave including but not limited to not acting like an idiot or say something stupid or insulting. I can just hear him covering up some faux pas with, "Well y'all look alike to me."

    August 4, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  6. doc mitch

    Looking forward to Chinese world domination anyway. Tired of Eurocetrism in all facets of my life, vainglorius devils and power hungry crackers.

    Nee Hou Ma

    Comrades

    August 4, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  7. Dayahka

    I have news for you all: China's economy is already larger than the US–not in dollar value, but in buying power. As for the military side of things, the US absolutely needs to be put down a peg or two and China and Russia and Brazil need to rise up in power and put some limits on the gargantuan militarism of the US.

    August 4, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  8. Vote Nader

    14% of Americans thinks Tibet should be part of China?!

    Surely they are ignorant to the situation. But, with many Americans supporting the state of Israel, this kind of makes sense.

    ** Nader/Gonzalez 2008 **

    August 4, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  9. Jeff in Illinois

    Anyone who doesn't think China is an economic threat is completely out of touch. My guess is China is laughing at Bushco trying to surround them militarily, because watching the US crumble economically is much easier than fighting a war against us.

    August 4, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  10. peakarach,des moines,IA

    BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA A CANDIDATE FOR CHANGE ON EVERY ISSUES IN EVERY 30 SECOND YOU CAN BELIEVE FOR SURE.
    =========================

    MCCAIN 08!
    HILLARY 12!

    August 4, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  11. To: Robert in raleigh

    Robert in raleigh August 4th, 2008 11:03 am ET

    My grand ma always said that " a bit dog will hollow" which mean the guilty will speak the loudest. Come Bill it's time for you to be quiet.
    ______________________________________________________

    No- it means : if you attack me (bite), I will speak up (holler).

    A biting dog will holler- that would mean what you wrote: you are guilty of the attack but then cry.

    August 4, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  12. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA

    AMERICA HERE IS OUR BILL.

    BROUGHT TO YOU BY BUSH & MCBUSH.

    $1O,OOO,OOO,OOO,OOO,OOO,OOO.

    WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO PAY IT IN THREE GENERATIONS

    IF WE WORK VERY HARD & CHANGE DIRECTION NOW.

    August 4, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  13. peakarach,des moines,IA

    BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA, A CANIDATE OF FLIP FLOP OF THE CENTURY THAT YOU CAN BELIEVE FOR SURE.
    =====================================

    MCCAIN 08!
    HILLARY 12!

    August 4, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  14. biffington, biff

    The Americans that have enough information ARE RIGHTLY WORRIED. Were China to call in the 10 trillion in debt, America would default, and the basis for the NEXT great war would be in place....

    and the republiCONs would all set to PROFIT from it.

    August 4, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  15. ProudDemocrat

    Those idiots will elect Mccain again then they do not have to think about china treat, China and India will be the super powers if Mccain is elected predient. You better believe it America.

    August 4, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  16. Andrew

    The issues has nothing to do with Bush, Obama, or McCain. This has been going on since Nixon, Carter, Ronnie, Clinton, and Bush Sr. If we did not export the production jobs to China and else where this would be a none issue, but we would rather have cheaper goods. Do you really think Obama or McCain will make economic issue go away in a few years since this has been ongoing for 30 or so years??? Please. As for a military power, yes they have the man power, but we still hold the tech edge that is most likely shrinking.

    August 4, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  17. A house divided

    Obama has an enemy and it is his own self:

    I have voted for black candidates most of my adult life – here in New York City. When I supported Sen. Clinton over Sen. Obama I became caricatured along with other Hillary fans as racist, hillbillies or angry white folks.

    Guess what ?- Sen. Obama's skin tone makes no difference to me – he is very attractive in many ways but he is a lightweight in heavyweights clothing – I will vote for him reluctantly but many former Hillary supporters will not.

    It is heartbreaking to fight your whole life, as have the Clintons, for social justice and have a bunch of naive overgrown frat boys with blogs and TV shows call you racists.

    That is why Obama is not surging in the polls – Many loyal Democrats are spent from the primary and will not come home.

    – Shame – We do not need the bigoted freaks in the Republican party – the enemy is within.

    August 4, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  18. bobby from MS

    China is buying top secret military equipment from Bush now. It started during the Clinton administration but continues today. What a tradition this country has started the rich sell out our countrymen for more money! Oh my source for this info came from the Magazine Soilder of Fourtune and the Freedom of Information Act.

    August 4, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  19. Xavier, Saint Louis, Missouri

    As long as Bush is in office and if McBush becomes President, our economy will continue to fall and suffer.

    Just say no to: Bush, McCain and the GOP

    Obamanation '08

    YES WE CAN

    August 4, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  20. The Other Jon

    Reason number 1 to consider certain protectionist measures on the U.S. economy.

    China is protectionist as well... We should demand fair trade practices from them (e.g. realistic prices that result in fair wages for Chinese workers and unsubsidized food markets) to even the playing field and bring back the viability of American production.

    Right now it is the equivalent of China and the U.S. both starting on the U.S.'s 20 yard line each possession... China has a tiny distance to go to move their products and grow their economy while the U.S. has to march the whole field.

    August 4, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  21. v.a.

    china has the u.s. grabbing its ankles.

    August 4, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  22. john williams san diego, ca.

    FEAR NOT...the Barack Messiah Obama has promised us 1000 years of peace, socialism and higher taxes and he will have a chinese dialogue.

    August 4, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  23. Matthew and Laurie Claxton

    We will only vote for Obama if Hillary is VP, Pennsylvania voter for Hillary and we do not believe Obama can make it without Hillary nor do we believe that he will be effective on the world stage due to both lack of experience and being viewed more as a celebrity than as a Presidential candidate!

    August 4, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  24. A house divided

    I have said it before:

    Obama played the race card against fellow democrats- thinking it would not matter to them in the end... Democrats would vote for him anyway...even though he played dirty, denigrated them and insulted them.

    I think that has backfired.

    No one cares to be offended and insulted into voting for Obama.

    August 4, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  25. How does CNN determine who gets posted?

    Who are they asking these questions? I've never received a call from the pollsters. Because if I had, I'd have told them that China's the least of our worries. John McCain may end up being the next president. China pales in comparison.

    August 4, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
1 2 3 4 5