Hugged or mugged by the panda’s rise?

UPI/Zogby Interactive released a survey last Wednesday showing that 60 percent of Americans see China as an “economic threat” to the United States. And on Friday, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and WorldPublicOpinion.org released a more extensive poll that explores views toward China in 17 countries around the world. Asked about the possibility that ...

601627_070529_chinapoll_05.jpg
601627_070529_chinapoll_05.jpg

UPI/Zogby Interactive released a survey last Wednesday showing that 60 percent of Americans see China as an "economic threat" to the United States.

And on Friday, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and WorldPublicOpinion.org released a more extensive poll that explores views toward China in 17 countries around the world. Asked about the possibility that China's economy grows as large of that of the United States, only a minority of respondents in each of these countries saw this potential development as "mostly negative."

The results for the United States are somewhat more ambiguous: 33 percent—the highest among the countries surveyed—saw a China at economic parity as mostly negative, with 54 percent viewing such an outcome as equal parts positive and negative. Just nine percent said this would be mostly positive.

UPI/Zogby Interactive released a survey last Wednesday showing that 60 percent of Americans see China as an “economic threat” to the United States.

And on Friday, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and WorldPublicOpinion.org released a more extensive poll that explores views toward China in 17 countries around the world. Asked about the possibility that China’s economy grows as large of that of the United States, only a minority of respondents in each of these countries saw this potential development as “mostly negative.”

The results for the United States are somewhat more ambiguous: 33 percent—the highest among the countries surveyed—saw a China at economic parity as mostly negative, with 54 percent viewing such an outcome as equal parts positive and negative. Just nine percent said this would be mostly positive.

It’s perilous to compare polls to one another, but I think both surveys reveal at least uncertainty about China’s rise in the United States—fertile ground for politicians to whip up anti-China sentiments, but also an opportunity for the Chinese government to provide reassurance. Expect a fierce tug-of-war for the hearts and minds of the American public in 2008, with the elections in the United States on one side of the rope, and the likely spectacular Olympics in Beijing on the other.

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