Survey Shows Chinese, US Public Opinion Converging

Posted April 19th, 2012 at 1:55 pm (UTC-5)
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A new survey of public opinion in China and the United States shows a majority of people believe their two countries' partnership is the most important in the world.

The wide-ranging survey by the non-profit Chinese-American organization “the Committee of 100,” interviewed more than 4,000 people in China and 1,400 in the United States.

Sixty-one percent of American respondents said China is the most important U.S. partner, followed by Britain and Japan. Sixty percent of the Chinese named the United States as China's most important partner, followed by Russia and Britain.

Despite mistrust and often-bumpy official ties, the survey found that favorable opinion of China has increased among Americans, who say they back collaborative bilateral ties. But the data also shows that a growing percentage of the Chinese public believes the United States is trying to prevent China from becoming a great power.

Just less than half of the Chinese respondents think U.S. global influence has decreased in the past decade.

A majority of Americans still perceive China's military growth as a serious threat to the United States, but the survey shows a decrease in concern from five years ago.

The research says both the United States and China share a range of hopes and fears on important bilateral issues — most of the economic and military.

An overwhelming majority in both countries believe trade is mutually beneficial. But both groups expressed concerns about intellectual property protections, trade deficits, job losses, product safety and corruption.

The survey also found that most American respondents believe U.S. military presence in the Asia-Pacific region will help maintain regional security. But the Chinese showed concern for the U.S. military presence, saying they fear it could lead to future conflicts.