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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image=
caption="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. Bryan

    If you can't take the time to buy goods from someplace else, then be quiet and mind your own business. The way I see it, if you buy Chinese products you can't complain. For that matter, I wonder what Lou Dobbs' house looks like. I bet its packed full of imported goodies. Anyone want to guess where his flag lapel pin was made? How about his fridge, his microwave, the materials in his cheep suits? Any takers? Huh?

    August 4, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |

    ONE WORD FOR THOSE WHO CHOOSE NOT TO READ. READ!!!! Next time you purchase an item look at the label. NEWS FLASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MADE IN CHINA!!!! Economically smart but Americans are so caught up in me me me give me give me give me instead of working together as a Nation.

    August 4, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  3. Stephen in Red Bluff

    During today's (8/4) "Situation Room"–right at the 3:35 p.m. PDT mark–Wolf, as he was breaking for commercial, teased us with the following:

    "A campaign surprise! One voting bloc defecting from the candidate most experts would expect them to be backing..."

    But, that was it. He never came back to the story. To whom was Wolf referring?

    August 4, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  4. Mike in MN

    We are right to be concerned about China.
    Bill Clinton took campaign money from the Chinese and then sold us out with terrible trade deals with them. Now we have to deal with the mess.
    Unfortuantly all Democrates know how to do is raise taxes. Wonder if they realize they can't raise taxes on the Chinese? Obama will just dazel them with a speech and all will be right. They will chant Obama! Obama! Obama! And the Chinese leaders will open up their markets to free trade with US companies, and stop infringing on US patents and copyrights.

    August 4, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  5. Chuck, Montgomery, AL

    Hey – run down to Walmart and buy some of their products !!!!!! Build their strength even further.

    Bush/Cheney have already sold us to China – now McWarmonger wants to sell the rest to the Oil Companies.

    August 4, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  6. Chuck, Montgomery, AL

    I hope they keep Bush and his 747 super-gas-saver-plane as partial payment for what we owe – he he he he he hehe he

    August 4, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  7. Raymond Duke

    Of course we should be. We have given the country to corporate america to run for us for years. Not just with Goerge Bush but all the way back to JImmy Carter. It is time to break the hold of corporate america and the whining left wing liberals and become a great nation again.

    August 4, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  8. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    China's economy is already larger. We owe China. With bush administration and a mccain administration, they will wait for us to finish our selves off.

    August 4, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  9. Willy

    While the media gets you to focus on th enext gay couple having a baby or illegals demanding rights the people who want to attack America are quietly walking across the borader and doing just that. Wake up America you are being had!

    August 4, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  10. Vig

    China's human rights has not caught up with it's ecomomic growth – one without the other will undermine China – one way or the other. So China, needs to get let go of it's repressive and controlling government and grow up.

    August 4, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  11. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

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

    GOOD WORK, BUDDY!!! you quoted it verbatim, Rush and Carl will be SO proud....

    if you actually READ FOR YOURSELF, you'd see that almost NONE of what your white house shills tell you is the truth. it is all political rhetoric; you guys have already showed them that you take what they say at face value and they USE that for their political gain.

    August 4, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  12. Chuck, Montgomery, AL

    I'll take down home honesty any day – the elitists that wear $520 loafers and left disabled behind don't cut it with me.

    August 4, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  13. NoMccain

    They are bluffing. They can't get oil fast enough to grow. They will continue to evict their citizens to suit the Olympic world stage and refuse to recognize Tibetans rights for freedom. I refuse to watch the Olympics, it has lost all of its flavor.

    August 4, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  14. Fraser Pereko

    America should accept change. Gone are the days of military imperialism and economic manipulation. Accept globilization. Iraq war was a terrible mistake for the US. Iran war would be the end of America. Americans generally should accept change.

    I know CNN is just another policy ton extend the above so they may choose not to post this comment for political reasons. Here in Africa people do not appreciate the contents of CNN as it has proved to be more of the REPUBLICAN media.


    August 4, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  15. Mike in NYC

    The Chinese, and most East Asians, seem to have little tolerance for social parasitism, personal moral abdication, and out-and-out degenerate behavior.

    Since the current Western political order seems to actually encourage the above, maybe a world run by the Chinese wouldn't be so bad. OK, so the environment would be ruined within a century, but maybe with the aforementioned social pathologies done away with, we could actually get down to the business of colonizing other planets. (Just doing a bit of long-term thinking here, like the Chinese.)

    August 4, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  16. dagnemrth

    American should be more worried about the future than the current debt. Just a few days ago I even heard American school system are cutting back to compensate for the higher fuel costs, education for god sakes. When a country sacrafice its education for a few more miles in their SUVs you'd be very worried abotu its future. While Americans are considering reducing the average school week from 5 to 4 days, China and India are investing billions in building new schools and are effectively running on 7 day school week.

    In 20 years, when the education investment in China and India pays off, America will be fliping burgers while even F22s need to be manufatured in China.

    Good luck
    Someone from Canada

    August 4, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  17. Steve, Endicott, NY

    Let's see we have 700 billion dollars going out of the country for oil. Approximately 300 billion going out to the Chinese. It's not going to take much for this country at this rate to be dirt poor. The Democrats have control of Congress since 2006 and done didley squat.
    Now we get Obama elected, we are really in trouble.
    America wake up, vote out all incumbants. Once a politician gets elected, he/she feels safe and does whatever he/she pleases. We have some real loosers in Congress and most believe it or not are Democrats.

    August 4, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  18. Christopher, Madison, WI

    Pretty, Uneducated, Moronic, adolescents! You lost get over it! We aren't fooled by you fake Hillary supporters, we know you're repukes in disguise!
    Rock on Obama! Own the racists!

    August 4, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  19. America does not need obama

    Well, elect obama and you can be sure America will become a second rate country. Don't you remember hearing him say during one of the dabates with Hillary Clinton that America needs to get off her high horse. I'm just really sorry that obama supporters are so blind.
    I read their post and they are really scary because they are so uneducated.You really do need to face the truth about obama before he has the chance to destroy this country.

    August 4, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  20. America does not need obama

    Hey fools, Bush didn't get us in debt with China.......your beloved democratic controlled congress did.

    August 4, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  21. Jim

    Hmmmm… So Bush is the cause of the China Syndrome? Wake up; our nation has been in China's pocket since the 70's. I will break it to you moron Dems; McCain is a liberal Republican! You are all sheep. Obama isn't the answer. Stop blaming the Republicans, for what, two years now the house and Senate have been a Democrat majority and what has happened – nothing, but the same old bull. You want change? Start by setting term limits for the geezers that make a career out of politics. Kick fat teddy and Byrd out and replace them with some fresh blood.

    August 4, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  22. proud army and navy mom

    I am far more worried about Obama being President then I am of China.....China at leasts gives me a product for more hard earned doller Obama wants to take 59% of my check and just give it away

    August 4, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  23. America does not need obama

    The only man who can keep this country strong for the next 8 years is John McCain. Other countries know better than to mess with him. Obama is weak and they know it. Obama wants to eliminate our military by cutting it back to nothing. Want to speak obama.

    August 4, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  24. American by choice

    I am much worried about the increasing number of left leaning American bigots. At least the Chinese share our objective of improving peoples lives (although they're doing it hte hardway).

    August 4, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
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