November 16th, 2009
04:08 PM ET
4 years ago

CNN Poll: Americans say China's an economic threat

Washington (CNN) – Americans are split over whether China represents a military threat to the United States - but there is no doubt in the public's mind that the country poses an economic threat, according to a new national poll.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday, 51 percent of the public consider China a military threat, with 47 percent disagreeing. That 4-point margin is within the poll's 4.5 percent sampling error.

The poll's Monday release comes as President Barack Obama makes his first visit to China, looking to bolster relations with that nation. He made the case to Chinese student at a Monday town hall that the countries' philosophical differences should not get in the way of a robust relationship.

According to the survey, two-thirds see China as a source of unfair competition for U.S. companies, while only a quarter are more likely to view China as a huge potential market for U.S. goods.


"That may be why 71 percent of Americans consider China an economic threat to the U.S.," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Americans tend to view foreign countries as competition, and China is no exception."

Only a quarter of those questioned in the poll say that China has a good track record on human rights. Sixty-eight percent suggested that China is doing a bad job respecting the human rights of its citizens.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted November 13-15, with 1,014 adult Americans questioned by telephone.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: China • CNN poll • President Obama
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Sean

    China is soon to be the new evil empire. We as Americans need to acknowledge them as a threat and be willing to accept sacrifices in order to get rid of our debt to them. That means accepting taxes for a few years. They greet us with a big smile as they slowily slide the knife into our backs.

    November 16, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  2. raj

    China is not a threat but can share some of our global economic burden but only if it plays fair. This admin should ask them first to get their currency free-floating by then end of 2010 or face currency driven tariffs on all imports. These tariffs will be based on fair value of their currency and the officia value. Any price advantage due to currency valuation will be charged as Fair and Acuurate Currency Tax (FAC)T).

    I wills also send this idea to my congressman.

    November 16, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  3. German,Irish American

    Get used to it media and liberals, because your boy Obama is selling the USA to China with his massive spending policies that have always failed in the past, just as they are failing now as he drives this country into bankruptcy.

    November 16, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  4. Dan, TX

    The only enemy America has is America. We are divided. China is not our enemy. China wants to be our friend. Go there, see for yourself.

    November 16, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  5. Hot Dog

    It is funny that these Americans are speaking up now that we have lost our industrial base due out sourcing. What impact to you think that had on the unemployment rate and our economy as a whole? The answer greed. Americans are stupid to think that a thriving economy is only limited to us.

    November 16, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  6. Jeremy

    I see a common factor in quite a few posts on this topic: only Bush and the Republicans are being blamed for this. People seem to forget that Chinese-made products became widespread in the 1990's, at the height of the Clinton presidency. Both Republicans and Democrats are responsible for this economic turmoil we are in now. I agree with another blogger: we need to stop spending money on useless stimulus, cap-and-trade, and health care bills and pass a balanced budget amendment before the spending gets out of hand and China will end up owning the United States.

    November 16, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  7. mjm

    When American companies find it more cost effective to produce goods overseas and ship them back here, blame the tax code not the business.

    We have the highest corp. tax structure in the world. Change the environment with lower taxes on corps and the jobs will stay in the USA. Or you can let China have our jobs...up to you.

    Cap-and-Trade and the Pelosi bill will force jobs to go overseas. When Democrats bash American corporations every chance they get, they end up overseas. When unions force corps to go overseas because of their crazy labor contracts, we lose jobs.

    Don't blame China, India, corporations or Republicans.....When jobs go overseas....It's the Democrats.

    November 16, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  8. jules sand-perkins

    If the Chinese can manufacture an item and sell it at a lower price than we can, we are charging more than the item is actually worth.

    End of story.

    November 16, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  9. Peter s

    China is a economic threat to the United States! and if we continue with the same broken policies it will forge ahead of United States economically and militarilly. The Chinese societal work ethics has evolved to the better and they are continously improving.

    November 16, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  10. Tracy-Oakley

    One of the main reasons China is a threat economically is because the previous President started and ill-advised war on a stack of lies with no way to pay for it..

    November 16, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  11. Have you listen to God lately? ---S Callahan

    There is a solution...pay your bills off...it take sacrafice but it's worth it.

    November 16, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  12. Padraig

    What will Obama do? I am sure "he can do it – yes he can". I have bee waiting for a year.

    To those idiots who thinks only republicans benefitted think again, the democrats made millions on this too.

    November 16, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  13. Robin

    Please, who is buying their products. WE ARE, SO THEREFORE, WE ARE OUR BIGGEST THREAT!!!!

    November 16, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  14. James Michael Roberson

    An economic threat? Maybe if they quit loaning us money. Saying they are an economic threat is kinda like saying daddy is a tightwad because he didn't buy me a new car.

    November 16, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  15. Terry from West Texas

    Bluebonnet says, "The US has the highest corporate tax rate than ANY country! ..."

    Actually, we are fifth, behind India, Germany, Netherlands, and Canada, with Argentina, Morocco, Malta, Pakistan, and Zambia. This is more Libertarian propaganda, as if global corporations are going to save us and make us prosperous if we would only lower the tax burden on those poor CEO's. Libertarians are part of the free-lunch crowd. They want to live in a 21st century democracy but they don't want to pay the bill. Typical of Conservatives.

    November 16, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  16. Observant 1

    I believe that China poses a military and economic threat to the USA. I believe that within the ten years China will definitely move against the USA. And, we can thank our great CEO's and elected robber barons for shipping manufacturing and finance to developing countries.

    The real issue is now that Americans are no longer "fat and happy", and is actively watching and is aware of what is occurring to us, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT??????

    November 16, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  17. Independant Vet

    Remember China is your banker . So watch what you say . You may want more stimulus , for in turn they get the money back for building , more wind Power . This is your change. Wright.

    November 16, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  18. Spirit of America

    Threats to America are internal: a totally dysfunctional health care system and fully overbloated military budget, both of which are sucking the lifeblood out of our failing economy.

    November 16, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  19. Swiftlearner

    Let us reenact the Chinese Expulsion Act. of the 19 Century.
    It is self evident that all men are created equal, except the Chinese.-they are too threatening !!

    November 16, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  20. Right Leaning Independent

    I certainly prefer that we produce more goods here but the question below does arise from this article. Are the two thirds that see China as an economic threat the same folks that helped Wal Mart become the largest exporter from China??? All these big buy America Union types all shop at Wally world and than cry a river when jobs disappear overseas! I think that a large portion of the two thirds may possibly be hypocrites..

    November 16, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  21. Limbaugh is a liberal

    As usual Americans try to find an outside scapegoat to blame their problems on. Xenophobia will always be popular in this country. Guess what people, it is YOUR out of control consumerism, your favorite corporations who have outsourced manufacturing and jobs and continue to channel money to the Chinese, further devaluing the dollar. Even the Chinese haven't fixed their money value to us since 2005, seeing how bad our economy was becoming!
    So look in the mirror, and stop your out of control consumerism! THAT's what pumped up the Chinese economy and THAT's why they've grown. Because of YOU!

    November 16, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  22. Fitz in Texas

    There are two economic threats facing this country....China and this administration. It's safe to say this administration is the greater of the two threats.

    November 16, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  23. Nevada dude

    Yes! China is an economic threat!! think about that on your weekly trip to Wal-mart as you buy the chinese-made goods they sell there.

    Americans are morons.

    November 16, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  24. no more than India or any other cheap labor

    if we don't protect our jobs, than we are just stupid

    way to go BIG business, you are the very dumb ones, taking the U.S. down a hole

    November 16, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  25. Denna

    Hey, China pretty much owns ths country, so don't worry about it. They're family now.

    November 16, 2009 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
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