Friday, February 24, 2012

Americans See China as a Super Power; Friendly, But Not an Ally

Americans have decidedly mixed views about the rising power of China.  Although more than 70 percent see it as friendly or an ally, about one-quarter of Americans see China as an enemy or unfriendly (23%).

Importantly, a plurality of Americans believes China will pass the U.S. as the leading world power (42%).  However, people are closely divided as to their impression of China as favorable (42%) and unfavorable (44%).  As of today, Americans support having a strong relationship with China (71%) and cooperating with them (more than 60%).

Vice President Xi Jinping’s visit highlight was “tea time” in Iowa.  The trip has been generally judged a success in presenting a friendly face of the Chinese leadership.  The Iowa event reflected not only Xi Jinping’s public relations skill, but also his emphasis on rural development, farmers and food supply.  While China may appear to be about huge new cities, like Shanghai and Guangzhou, the country is still mostly about the billion citizens of rural areas.

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