Poll: Most support tough stance towards China on human rights, economics

Roughly nine-in-ten U.S. adults (89%) consider China a competitor or enemy, rather than a partner, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Many also support taking a firmer approach to the bilateral relationship, whether by promoting human rights in China, getting tougher on China economically or limiting Chinese students studying abroad in the United States. More broadly, 48% think limiting China’s power and influence should be a top foreign policy priority for the U.S., up from 32% in 2018.

Today, 67% of Americans have “cold” feelings toward China on a “feeling thermometer,” giving the country a rating of less than 50 on a 0 to 100 scale. This is up from just 46% who said the same in 2018. The intensity of these negative feelings has also increased: The share who say they have “very cold” feelings toward China (0-24 on the same scale) has roughly doubled from 23% to 47%.