November 17th, 2010
05:22 PM ET
12 years ago

CNN Poll: Americans see China as economic threat

(CNN) - A majority of Americans believe that China's growing economic strength is a threat to America, according to a CNN/Opinion Research poll conducted last week.

Almost half of all Americans say that China is now an economic and military superpower and 58 percent believe China's strength is a threat to the U.S.  Released today, the poll comes as a special commission assembled to provide guidance on how to manage America's economic and military relationship with China compiles its annual report, which is expected to link Chinese government practices with the U.S.-China trade deficit.

See the full results after the jump:

Full results (pdf)

According to a draft of the congressionally-appointed U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission's annual report, Chinese government practices including the manipulation of its currency and "exclusionary" trade policies have contributed to an enormous trade deficit with the U.S.-a deficit that amounts to $1.76 trillion annually.

Americans have strong opinions on the influence that China's economic power has on the country. When asked whether China's wealth and economic power poses a threat or an opportunity for the United States, a majority of Americans named China's power as a threat.

"The number of Americans who see China as a threat has jumped 15 points, from 43% in 1997 to 58% now.  And the number who say that China is a superpower has more than doubled - from 22% in 1997 to 46% today," says Keating Holland, CNN's Polling Director.

Americans' trepidation isn't limited to trade with China.  The poll also indicates that 50 percent of the nation see foreign trade as a threat to the U.S., compared to 41 percent who view it as an opportunity for economic growth.

The CNN/Opinion Research poll was conducted by telephone from November 11-14 among 1,014 American adults. It has a sampling error of plus-or-minus three points.

Check out CNN's new Polling Center, which provides the most comprehensive polling data of any news organization in the political landscape.

Filed under: China • Economy
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Me

    First of all, YOUR POLLS MEAN NOTHING....NOTHING!!!!!
    CNN should be called CPP for Cable Palin and Polls because that's all you do!
    You don't even bother to explain them any more or tell us what questions you asked
    Somebody must have told you guys POLLS ARE AWESOME!
    sigh. CNN you have fallen so far. You've changed've changed

    On the topic of the article, The Chinese are an economic threat to America and we must tread lightly.
    China's currency situation must be addressed and we must do what we gotta do in order to make sure our economy recovers and stays stron in spite of international pressure...JUSTLIKE CHINA

    November 17, 2010 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    China is doing business with the World and it appears we Americans are the only ones that see them as a threat, I find that to be kind of ignorant. Americans need to recognize we live in global community and in a very progressive era and it's time we stop the arrogance and educate ourselves and our children.

    November 17, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Gee-imagine Americans can figure out that a billion plus Chinese who have just discovered economic freedom may just buy more, spend more and produce more than an, over-spent, object-bloated America

    November 17, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  4. 8 Years of "Trickle Down" economics has only left a dribbling wet spot on working Americans's shoes!

    A threat?

    They own us, why would they want to threaten their own assets?

    November 17, 2010 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  5. Marcus

    Face it. Three hundreds years ago China and India, alone, had over half the riches of the world. Europe had better guns and we all know where it ended. Now both countries have big military forces and will not allow that that shameful plundering happens again. And BOTH (not only China) are on the rise economically speaking.
    First option for the USA, sit on its belief that no one will ever be able to pass the country both economically and militarly speaking and do nothing.
    Second option, get ready for when those two gets too close for the comfort of the US' position in the world.
    By getting ready I am not advocating Bush 'preemptive strikes'!!!!
    I am saying to improve education, get the country's infrastructure in good care and DEAL with all the troubles that lay ahead...
    Instead of simply say 'No'.

    November 17, 2010 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  6. one voice

    Thanks to the SELFISH GOP for INTENTIONALLY shipping 8,000,000 jobs oversees to excape paying taxes, yes China is an economic threat. Borrowing billions from china for 2 WARS and TAX BREAKS for the MEGA RICH IN TURN TANKING the economy( whose fault is this? the ones that voted for W not only once but TWICE) IDIOTS.

    November 17, 2010 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  7. Peter s

    China is not an economic threat! but a very smart and sly competitor who wants to win at any cost!! ie the rules are for the rest but not China

    November 17, 2010 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  8. xdh23

    US is a theat to itself. We're arguing and busy with one election after another. China should contribute more to our politicians while they still get the help from the friendly Supreme Court.

    November 17, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Most Americans do recognize China as an economic competitor and threat, but the corporate Americans who bought and paid for our elected officials in Congress see it as nothing more than an opportunity for cheap labor.

    November 17, 2010 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  10. xdh23

    The rise and fall of a nation is self-harm. Stop blaming others!

    November 17, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  11. thomas

    Thank You, Claudia H,Tx.
    We Americans do need to recognize we live in global community and in a very progressive era . Tell that to the TEA Party and your UnAmerican ! ignorance is bliss , ignorance and Arrogance is impending doom !

    November 17, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  12. Four and The Door

    Have you been to China? If so, maybe you would not be so worried about that. We have time right now to get our economy back in gear and maintain our lead in the areas where we want to. But we don't have forever. We need to get our government back on the side of supporting private industry rather than over-regulating and trying to milk companies to death with taxes. Companies large and small are really the good guys, not the bad guys and they are our best weapon for keeping our economy the best in the world. The whole country does well when private industry is successful.

    November 17, 2010 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  13. vic nashville tn

    All about free market Be American buy made in America its not working we didn’t learn from recession if we say buy only American products we are not Patriots

    November 17, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  14. kyle

    China is exploited for their lack of labor, environmental laws,and child labor laws. They don't follow trade laws, they take advantage of American corporate greed, and the list can go on and on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 17, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  15. terry, va

    Do you reckin' fools? China already owns this country. If we don't pay back their debt they will pull the plug on us within 10 years. They are getting ready to buy Government Motors (GM). The union won't say crap to them or they will line them against the wall and take them out. How's that comrade?

    November 17, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  16. Former Republican, now an Independent

    No kidding? Only the most uninformed, brainwashed people who watch Fox Journalism Channel would not know that China has been, is and will remain a threat until we implement a "Fair Trade" policy and dump this phony program called "Free Trade".

    November 17, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  17. pkfops

    Maybe the US should get out of the habit of making enemies with the world and start making money.

    I travel to Asia often and China is a really fun place ti visit.

    November 17, 2010 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  18. Chris

    @Claudia you said a mouthful!!! You are absolutely, right we live in a global economy and it is time we learn to play the game better. China took our economic processes and turned them against us. They offer cheap labor, so companies here go there. The minute that the people of China( those doing the real work) demand more for what they are doing their economy will change too and those sames businesses operating there now will run to India!!!

    November 17, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  19. tochi

    China is becoming a world power because they are all polling in one direction-unlike our country which is engaged in tearing each other apart

    November 17, 2010 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |