A recent poll conducted in the United States revealed that Americans have deep concerns about the Chinese communist regime. Highlights include the CCP’s growing military power, threats to invade Taiwan, economic competition involving China, and human rights abuses.
The renowned Pew Research Center poll results of its latest research taken from October 10 to October 16, shows that concern about the danger posed to the world by the Chinese communist regime is not just a sentiment of one political sector, but rather it is shared by a large part of the population.
The current leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Xi Jinping, is up for a third consecutive term, yet for Americans, this does not appear to be a major concern. Only three out of ten respondents mentioned this issue as a very serious problem for the country.
More specifically, of the roughly 5000 respondents the vast majority expressed concern about the partnership between authoritarian China and Russia (87 percent say they are “somewhat” or “very” concerned about this issue); China’s growing military power (86 percent); tensions between China and Taiwan (82 percent); economic competition from China (82 percent); and human rights abuses in China (80 percent).
In terms of intensity, concerns about China’s partnership with Russia and its increasing military power were the most pressing, with 57 percent and 50 percent of respondents rating those problems as “very serious,” respectively.
Tensions with Taiwan, China’s military buildup and economic competition reflected an increasing trend from Pew’s last survey on the same issue in March.
The consulting firm associated this increase in the perception of danger to the rise in tensions between the United States and the regime following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.
Pew also noted that the Chips and Science Act, passed by the U.S. Senate to protect the local electronics industry from abusive Chinese practices, may have contributed to the public’s focus on economic competition from the CCP.
Another noteworthy point is the concern about a possible partnership between Russia and the Chinese regime. This issue was a major concern in the March poll, and while it was also the most pointed out by voters in the current poll, it was much milder than in the previous version.
When analyzing the profile of the respondents, it emerged that those who showed the greatest concern for the regime are declared Republicans and especially those who are older.
Negative perceptions of the Chinese regime in the U.S. population have also been reflected in other post-pandemic studies.
Such is the case of Gallup that detected in early 2021 a pronounced change in the attitudes of respondents on this issue.
This survey revealed that the number of Americans who viewed China as their “greatest enemy” more than doubled from the previous year, even as the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic was receding.
At the time the consultancy identified the economic damage inflicted on the Western world during 2020 as causing this sentiment.
There is consensus to confront the abuses of the Chinese regime
It is worth noting that while there is evidence that the U.S. is very concerned about the actions of the Chinese regime, this does not imply that there is a desire for the U.S. to avoid contact and conflict with China – quite the contrary.
When the Pew survey asked respondents whether the U.S. should continue to visit Taiwan with high-level politicians, even if it harms bilateral relations with the Chinese regime, 54% said it should.
There is even no difference between Republicans and Democrats on how the U.S. should deal with the issue of its diplomatic trips to Taiwan.
Respondents from both parties said in equal proportions that U.S. officials should continue to visit Taiwan, regardless of their political orientation.
It was Republicans, especially after Donald Trump’s presidency, who began to consistently call attention to the danger posed by the developing Chinese regime not only to the United States but to the entire world.
Trump’s second presidential campaign was largely focused on this issue, while in this respect the campaign of his Democratic competitor Joe Biden was much lighter.
To such an extent that many accused Biden of sympathizing with the communist regime and downplaying its risk.
In his 2020 presidential campaign, Biden mocked those who saw the CCP as a threat, or even serious competition. He said during a rally in Iowa City, “China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man.”
Biden continued, “I mean, you know, they’re not bad folks, folks. But guess what? They’re not competition for us.”
As the months passed, however, once Biden became president he changed his tune and he and his officials took on a much more combative profile against the Chinese regime.
The ultimate demonstration of this change of attitude was when Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, visited Taiwan despite strong threats from the regime not to do so.
We will surely never know if it was out of real conviction, or simply because she interpreted the concerns of the population. What is clear is that U.S. citizens became genuinely concerned about the advance of Chinese communism and its impact on the world and the United States.