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Posted at 10:51 AM ET, 01/19/2011

China's image tarnished by weak U.S. economy

By Peyton Craighill

Chinese President Hu Jintao is likely to get a warm reception Wednesday at the White House state dinner, but public views of China are less than gleaming, fueled by an undercurrent of economic anxiety.

Almost half of all Americans hold unfavorable views of China, and more - six in 10 - in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll call it an economic threat to American jobs and security. Nearly as many describe China as unfriendly as friendly.

Americans' sense of the strength of the domestic economy factors directly into views of China. Ratings of China are much lower among those who take the dimmest view of our national economy, while China fares better among the few people who see the economy in a positive light.

Among those who describe the economy as poor, fully 71 percent call China a threat economically, 59 percent rate it unfavorably and 52 percent describe it as unfriendly. But these numbers flip among those who see the economy positively, with as many seeing China as an opportunity for new markets and investments as view it as a threat. Moreover, among those who give good marks to the U.S. economy, 58 percent call China a friendly country, and 54 percent view it favorably overall.

There are also political considerations at play: Republicans and conservatives are significantly more apt to view China negatively than are Democrats or independents. Almost a quarter of the most conservative call China an "enemy" of the United States. Republicans and Democrats alike see China as a threat.

Whites without college degrees take a particularly negative view of China's economic impact. Among this group, 72 percent say China represents a threat to the U.S. economy and jobs; that number dives to just 47 percent among whites with college degrees or more formal education.

Read the full poll here.
                      Rate national economy
                     Excel./   Not so   
               All    Good      good    Poor
Views of China
 Favorable     42      54        48      30
 Unfavorable   49      36        45      59

 Friendly      47      58        51      39
 Unfriendly    44      31        41      52

 Opportunity   29      44        33      20
 Threat        61      46        56      71

By Peyton Craighill  | January 19, 2011; 10:51 AM ET
Categories:  Economy  
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Next: Few see America as well-positioned economically

Comments

Americans blaming someone else for their own problems, very standard, nice to see the country has a great future.

Posted by: iewgnem | January 19, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

America has a bleak future in jobs. Yet huge, successful American companies like Apple have zero manufacturing in the US. I hope Steve Jobs will enjoy his few remaining years knowing the $6 billion in Apple profit was created on the empty factories and laid off workers on the American landscape. Steve, couldn't you make even one little cable or widget in the US, land of your birth and business?

Same goes to all you Wal-Mart ostensibly American product suppliers that make every last item abroad. It's also true that American labor unions have to take their lumps in driving up the cost of labor that it is far too costly to make stuff here.

Posted by: azumaguy | January 19, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

"Americans blaming someone else for their own problems, very standard, nice to see the country has a great future."

-this message brought to you from Beijing.
'Very Standard ESL'

Posted by: PulSamsara | January 19, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

People have it all wrong if they view China as a threat. China itself poses no threat at all to our economy. It's free trade that is the problem. Our policies here in the US allow China (and other countries) to become a threat, by not forcing them to compete with our labor laws, enviromental laws, taxes and the list goes on and on. It's amazing how we (United States) will shoot ourselves in the foot over and over again. We print money out of control, causing the value of our dollar to drop lower and lower. Free trade has caused us to lose millions of jobs, crushing various industries here in the US (automotive especially). If politicians really cared about the US, then they would put policies into play that protect the US industries from being crushed by foriegn countries. We should do what's in OUR best interest, and start protecting the US economy. Everything we need as a country can (and used to be) made here in the US. Until we start putting policies into play that will cause more jobs and industries to come back home..we will always be pointing the finger at various people and countries, scratching our heads, wondering how and why our economy is the way it is.

Posted by: JoshDeckerBand | January 19, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

See the problem? Quote "Whites without college degrees take a particularly negative view of China's economic impact."

Get a college degree, get less negative views of the world, and get a better life.

Posted by: collegekidtoo | January 19, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Don't blame China, our unions and greedy CEO's are to blame for what's going on here. If a police captain, which makes about $ 230000.00 a year and can retire after 25 years with the same amount, gets that kind of money nobody has to wonder why the U.S goes broke. The same goes for the CEO's. Million Dollar bonuses and salaries are common for those crooks, while most high paying jobs for the average worker were out-sourced to Asia or other low wage countries. Capitalism finally bit us in the butt.

Posted by: Hansa2 | January 19, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

It's not just that the jobs are in China, but also that Americans are increasingly becoming unemployable, because our public education system sucks, and American kids are falling behind. If America wants to stay competitive with China (and the rest of the world), it's time for them to quit pouring money down the drain into the military and put our tax dollars in our schools.
Blaming China is just a lazy way of avoiding pointing the finger at ourselves.

Posted by: yihe94703 | January 19, 2011 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Ignoramuses and xenophobes blaming a convenient foreign scapegoat for their troubles, politicians vilifying it by demagoguery for political gains, etc. That will become more and more pathetic in the upcoming years as the US slowly but surely falls from its dominant position...

Posted by: Sensi23 | January 19, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure the daily dose of media sensationalism indoctrinating people with China FUD had nothing to do with this "official narrative" of China, and America's resurging anti-Chinese sentiment.

We are constantly exposed to twist of fact and half-truth when it comes to China.

For example did anyone knew the latest Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo received nearly a million dollars via the NED to conduct domestic politics in China and was prosecuted under relevant Chinese law. Such activity is also illegal under US law.

And Liu championed Bush's war of terror. Ever heard of Nobel Peace Prize given to warmonger? Right Henry Kissinger and Barak Obama.

Posted by: ChasL1 | January 19, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Great comments here, but everyone is failing to see that it's US policy (free trade) that is allowing this to happen. China can not be blamed for seizing an opprotunity. Us blaming China is equivelant to you giving someone the key to your house, telling them where you keep your money and when no one will be there... and then later accusing that person of stealing from you.

This is an easy fix people. Put tarrifs in play that will force these companies to compete on the same playing field... it's the only way to solve this problem.

And to those of you who will cry tarrif war...who cares?? Everything we need as a country can be made right here in the US. And tho the rest of the world might get upset, it's not about them... we should do what's best for the US.

Posted by: JoshDeckerBand | January 19, 2011 2:06 PM | Report abuse

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