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Half of Americans View China as the Biggest Threat to the U.S.
An Increasingly Negative View of China
A recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center revealed that half of Americans consider China to be the biggest threat to the United States. In comparison, only 17% of respondents named Russia as the biggest threat. The survey also noted that Americans' view of China has become more negative over time, particularly since 2020. In fact, the share of Americans with an unfavorable opinion of China has risen from 79% in 2020 to 83% in 2023. This negative sentiment is attributed to various factors, including China's global role and its relationship with Russia.
Tensions and Issues Impacting the Relationship
The strained relationship between the United States and China can be attributed to several issues. Firstly, tensions escalated when a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon flew over the United States, leading to increased distrust between the two countries. Additionally, the battle for technological supremacy has resulted in trade and investment restrictions in the tech industry. Beijing's closer ties with Russia and its aggression over the Taiwan Strait have also negatively affected relations. These issues, including China's policies on human rights and its technological power, contribute to Americans' negative views of China.
Perceived Threats from China
The survey findings also reflect Americans' concerns about China's impact on the U.S. economy and national security. A significant majority of respondents, 78% and 73% respectively, believe that China poses a great threat in these areas. In contrast, only 36% and 66% of respondents viewed Russia as a great threat to the economy and security. These perceived threats have further fueled negative views of China among Americans.
Efforts to Improve Relations
Despite the strained relationship, recent diplomatic engagements between the two countries aim to improve ties. Veteran U.S. diplomat Henry Kissinger recently met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, signaling efforts by China to establish influence outside of traditional diplomatic channels. The Biden administration has also sought to restart high-level contacts with China through visits from Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and special presidential envoy for climate John Kerry. These diplomatic efforts show a commitment to easing tensions and finding common ground between the United States and China.
The Role of Young Experts and Scholars
To bridge the gap and improve understanding between the two nations, Chinese political analyst Zhou Zhixing suggests listening to the younger generation of U.S. experts and scholars on China. These individuals have studied various aspects of Sino-U.S. relations and possess fluency in the Chinese language. Zhou highlights the emergence of a group of young strategists in the United States who possess a deep understanding of China. Acknowledging and engaging with these experts can help foster better communication and mutual understanding between the two countries.
Conclusion: Assessing the Impact on New Businesses
The prevailing negative view of China among Americans, with half considering it the biggest threat to the United States, has significant implications for new businesses looking to establish relations or expand their operations in the Chinese market. These sentiments, coupled with tensions and issues impacting the Sino-American relationship, highlight the need for careful consideration and adaptability when navigating the business landscape between the two countries.
One key consideration for new businesses is the perceived threats from China, particularly in the areas of the economy and national security. With a significant majority of Americans expressing concerns about China's impact in these areas, businesses entering the Chinese market must demonstrate awareness and sensitivity to these concerns to gain trust and maintain positive relationships with American consumers.
Efforts to improve relations between the United States and China, such as recent diplomatic engagements and high-level contacts, offer some hope for businesses seeking to operate in both markets. These initiatives indicate a commitment to finding common ground and easing tensions, which can potentially create a more stable and cooperative environment for business ventures.
Moreover, recognizing and engaging with young experts and scholars who possess a deep understanding of China can be valuable for new businesses. These individuals offer unique perspectives and insights that can help bridge the gap and foster better communication and mutual understanding between the two nations.
In a highly dynamic and politically charged landscape, new businesses must carefully navigate the negative perception of China and the complexities of the Sino-American relationship. By staying informed, adapting strategies, and actively engaging with experts, businesses can mitigate risks and seize opportunities in both markets while maintaining a positive reputation with their American audience.
Article First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/07/27/pew-research-50percent-of-americans-view-china-as-top-threat-to-the-us.html