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. Rick B Tampa Bay

    I was thinking about taking spanish as a second language, but if Mcsame gets into office I'll chage it to Mandarin Chinese.

    Wake Up America!! OBAMA 08

    August 4, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  2. Drummand

    Bill Clinton knows what he did, he's a smart man. What he didn't know was the tenacity of black people to stand up after being run over by a bus.

    Wiping the tire marks off, and will be voting in November.

    August 4, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  3. Megan

    I donot want Bush to go anywhere. I think he should stay in his room until his term is over. I am so tired of him going outside of this country and making us look like idiots. Everyone thinks Americans are extra slow since Bush has taken office. Stay home Bush.

    August 4, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  4. rob

    While Bush has worn our Military down in Iraq. The Chinese have built up their own military with 'Our Money'? We are in debt a Trillion Dollars. China is fat and happy with US Dollars and is putting that money into new jets, ships, submarines and nukes. Bush is killing us and McBush has already promised 'to stay the course'.

    August 4, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  5. mike

    Simple Tax corporate America the same rate as after WWII and China,Japan,and Corporations wont matter.Only the American people will win.Just like the constitution says,"Of the people,by the people,for the people."

    August 4, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  6. ben

    I wrote this before and it made sense. Because you didnt think it worthy,you didnt print it, so I wrote another stupid thing and voila, you at least gave me waiting moderation.
    Look China is building an army becuase they know the dollar is losing value and we are deep in debt to them. They know our greedy oil companies using Bush have placed us in a vulnerable position. They will become our biggest competitor in the purchasing of oil. Where are we going to get the money to compete. What are our politicians doing about this dangerous situation? They are clammering for more energy saving devices to eliminate our depence on foreign oil. Nothing could please China more!! it would be hard to fight a war(and it will come) with wind blown army tanks and energy saving light bulbs. Once China controls world wide oil markets, look out! Your next ballots might be printed in Chinese

    August 4, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  7. God's warrior

    John Williams, that is exactly the type of sacrilegious reference McCain encouraged with his ad. Shame on you and John McCain! There is only one Messiah, and that is Jesus Christ. How dare McCain advertise this type of blasphemy, influencing people to use as religious mockery! That type of immoral behavior deserves no place in the highest offices of this country with its religious freedoms!

    August 4, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  8. cracka smaka

    Thank the rethugs for all this debt they have us owing China.....but oops its not the rethugs fault its Obama........oh I forgot he is what it couldn't be our debt; him and his pastor got us in this mess........dumb a55 thuglicans

    August 4, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  9. Over and Out

    And the reason why we think he should attend?

    Because we prefer him to be ANYWHERE but here!

    Bush and McCain, Please go and never come back!

    August 4, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  10. Ridgeway

    "Wary"? That's an under statement. Once a Commie always a Commie. Those parasites would love to have America's natural resources. They're worse than the USSR where some minimal value was placed on life. Human Wave sound familiar. It's nothing the Bose Wave.

    August 4, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  11. Ted:Canada

    The issue is not that they are a threat – the fact is that they are doing better than Americans economically.

    Over the last eight years the Republicans buried you. You have finally started to wake up.

    In Canada we sell more minerals to China than the US. They are building cars, machinery and they have better technology.

    Ironically they are going to build the first car that does not run on gas and you will be still drilling for oil. They will have the better technology while you guys are still using cell phones

    Wake up America or you will become a third world country, still fighting in Iraq because you “don’t like to loose the war”.The ultimate distraction from what is really going on…

    Wake up AMERICA before it is too late.

    Coming from a friend – in Canada

    August 4, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  12. Ridgeway

    Oh, yeah. Bush is responsible for everything. Lord you Libs are a droning noise. It's like a Buddhist chant. Yep. George created Communism and all of the Chinese ideologies.
    There are not enough air sick bags in the world to accommodate you nauseating boobs. I wish I had the rubber sheet concession at the Democratic convention. Cry baby, bed wetters.

    August 4, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  13. Andy

    Well, duh.

    August 4, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  14. David

    ONE EXAMPLE: I sell in Ladies Shoes at a major department store. You would not believe the number of very famous shoes that are made in China. From Cole Haan, Coach, Calvin Klein to Nine West and Guess. We carry tons of different shoe vendors and very few are made outside of China. LADIES, LOOK IN YOUR CLOSET. I DARE YOU TO TELL ME THAT MOST OF YOUR SHOES ARE NOT MADE IN CHINA. WE are the reason for the increase in China's strength. We employ many of there citizens there. Too all voters. MCCAIN HAD 26 YEARS TO HELP STRENGTHEN THIS COUNTRY. WHAT HAPPEN?

    August 4, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  15. Peter

    hold on all you fellow Americans – remember this – America is a superpower only after the world war I. The ancient super powers were India and China. We see the trend going back to the ancient days. The world changes, nothing is stable in this world. Not even our lives, we all are gonna die some day. For all people complaining about "Made in China products" – imagine the product was made in the USA, then u can't even afford the price.

    August 4, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  16. True

    "Threat" is a strong word for a Free Market in this Global Economy. Especially when our government borrows from China to keep the US economy going. No wonder other countries despise America for its greed. If we are not better than everybody else militarily or economically then they become the enemy. This very thought has become our demise.

    August 4, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  17. bill for barack

    If you really want to know what kind of a threat China is, watch what they DO and not what they say for the next 3 weeks.

    August 4, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  18. Lesley

    McCain should have gone to China instead of Bush. Imagine him telling Bush to be careful what he says. McCain should keep his own counsel.

    August 4, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  19. Waste of Time

    Every single comment in here is ridiculous. What a waste of time. You've accomplished NOTHING with your little rants. I can't believe I read some of them. Try not buying so much junk "made in China" every time you go to Wally World.

    August 4, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  20. Teddy California

    China is not an economic threat to the U.S. Yes, a lot of stuff are Made in China. But if you look carefully, the brands are American, European, or Japanese. The Chinese own very few brands. These companies can move the factories out of China any time they want. If you buy a Dell or HP computer that is Made in China, you are buying a product with components from all over the world.

    Right now, countries are all linked together economically. Any attemp to break the economic bond between the U.S. and China will hurt BOTH countries badly.

    I think China will not be a big topic in this election. Both McCain and Obama are smart enough to realize there is a mutual beneficial relationship between the U.S. and China.

    August 4, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  21. Tejano

    China is not a threat to anyone. The chinese people are great and take care of their people. The threat to the United States and to Western Civilization is from the Islamic Jihadists and their supporters in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Pakistan, Indonesia and West
    Africa. These Relgious fantatics want to kill all of us and do so in the name of Allah.

    August 4, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  22. Ian

    I don't care if we bomb China or Iran, so long as somebody gets bombed.

    August 4, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  23. Allan

    You all obama people, Only obama-KING can safe us. He going to ask us study chines lang...not french.What a chance ?.. All his chance for dumb people, who trust him. He flip-flop on everything. Now Florida and Michigan. WAKE UP AMERICA.

    August 4, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  24. al






    August 4, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  25. Franky

    "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."

    To be honest, I thought it was the right thing to do. I don't want to make a political statement about this, this is about our worlds athletes. Is just unfortunate that it had to come to this.

    But you know what guys? We probably shouldv'e worried about China the last couple of years! These guys don't play around! And you know what guys? You know Lebron James, right? Famous Basketball player here in the states. I remember a while back when he said that he was gonna speak up at the Olympics, you know, something like that. Did you know what I said??? I said, "Well.....we'll see how a tough guy he is then." And just a day or two ago, he changed his stance! You kow, focus on getting the gold for our team U.S.A. But this is what I'm saying guys...

    If he or anyone on that matter wouldv'e stand up to China or whatever, I personally believe it will decrease our diplomacy with China. I don't want that from our athletes most importantly, especially China because they have BIG population of NBA fans and if anyone in the team wouldv'e stood up, I wouldv'e been very disappointing..

    Hey look on the bright side, at least our world arthletes are gonna compete. Just hopefully, hopefully, nothing unfortunate happens over there...

    August 4, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
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