According to a new poll released by Gallup, Americans no longer see China as the United States’ greatest enemy, after topping the list last year. Additionally, the amount of respondents who view China’s economic power as threatening to the U.S. has decreased. Below is an excerpt of Gallup’s findings:
Forty percent of Americans regard “the economic power of China” as a critical threat to the vital interests of the U.S., down from 52% in both 2013 and 2014. Since last year, Americans have shifted more toward viewing China’s economic power as an important but not a critical threat, or as not an important threat.
Gallup’s annual World Affairs poll finds China’s economic power ranking at the bottom of a list of eight different international threats, with ISIS and international terrorism rated as the gravest threats.
The decline in the percentage of Americans viewing China’s economy as a critical threat over the past year may be attributable to the rise of other matters on the world stage, such as the Islamic State or ISIS and the situation in Ukraine. Also, by many measures, the U.S. economy has greatly improved while China’s has slowed, making the Chinese economy seem like less of a threat than when the U.S. economy was struggling to emerge from recession and the Chinese economy was growing more quickly. Americans’ opinions about which country is the world’s leading economic power had shifted from the U.S. to China in recent years amid the weak U.S. economy.
Currently, 12% of Americans name China when asked to say which country they consider the United States’ greatest enemy. That is down from 20% in 2014 and 23% in 2012. China currently ranks behind Russia and North Korea, after topping the list in 2014 and finishing second, to Iran, in 2012.
China is distinct from the other countries that typically rank among the top U.S. enemies in that it represents primarily an economic threat to the U.S., whereas Russia, Iran, Iraq and North Korea represent more of a security threat.