Chinese people’s attitudes toward the U.S. have become notably friendlier, a recent poll has revealed.
A shift in public perception: Morning Consult's "The State of US-China Relations" report, released on Wednesday, tracked the sentiments of around 1,000 Chinese adults each month from mid-Feb. 2022 to early Oct. 2023.
According to the survey's results, economic struggles and domestic woes in China may have caused a substantial shift in public perception.
Softening attitudes: In April 2022, over 80% of Chinese respondents viewed the U.S. as an enemy, but by Oct. 2023, this number had fallen to 48%. The survey also found that more than 75% of Chinese respondents were concerned about U.S.-China tensions and believed that both nations should work towards resolving these tensions.
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Approximately 59% of U.S. adults view China as an enemy or unfriendly, while those who view China unfavorably stands at 61%, with both figures aligning with historical trends. The shares of Americans forecasting escalating military and economic tensions with China (55% and 63%, respectively) have also not significantly softened since the third quarter.
Rising discontent: The survey noted that the level of satisfaction among Chinese adults regarding their country's trajectory has fallen to unprecedented lows. This decline, even below the levels reached during the peak of China's zero-COVID policy in late 2022, has raised concerns about rising discontent among citizens.
Economic troubles and shifting priorities: The study also identified a correlation between this dissatisfaction and China's lackluster economy. Economic challenges such as a property market crisis, youth unemployment and diminishing foreign investment have contributed to a sense of malaise among the Chinese population. As a result, people have shifted their priorities, ranking economic growth and social stability above defense concerns.
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Impending talks: This shift in attitudes in China is a hopeful sign as ongoing efforts to improve dialogue and stabilize relations between the U.S. and China are currently underway. Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping are expected to meet at the APEC summit in San Francisco, their first meeting since the G20 summit in Indonesia the previous year, in China.
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