The Great Wall is the most recognized symbol of China among Americans, a survey released on Monday by US-based Perspective Resources Inc (PRI) has claimed.
Entitled "A Study of American Perceptions of China" the survey attracted 2 million US citizens, all aged 18 or above, with different social and education backgrounds. They were asked 10 questions about China.
When asked what they most associated with China, 49 percent said the Great Wall, followed by the Beijing Olympics (36 percent), rice and food (34 percent) and dragons (32 percent).
When asked to say which words they most associated with the country, the most popular answers were "highly populated", "government or Communism", "culture or history" and "red".
The most famous Chinese people are Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Mao Zedong, Confucius, Jet Li, Yao Ming, Buddha, Lucy Liu, Genghis Khan and Chow Yun-fat, the survey found.
When asked what are the most popular Chinese dishes, nearly 60 percent said it was rice or fried rice. Others mentioned egg rolls, noodles, wonton soup, fortune cookies, egg drop soup and stir-fried food.
When it comes to places to visit, Americans think of Beijing, the Great Wall, Hong Kong, Shanghai, the Bird's Nest, Forbidden City, Tibet and Tian'anmen Square, the revealing survey said.
Twenty-two percent of those surveyed also mentioned Singapore, which they thought was a Chinese city.
Chinese brand names are least familiar with Americans who named Samsung, Toyota, Nissan and Nike, which are not Chinese at all.
Forty-two percent of people surveyed said they could not name any Chinese brands, although 87 percent said they had used products made in China such as clothing, electronics and toys.
Asked about the most important issues in China, 39 percent said civil rights and freedom.
Others mentioned a wide range of topics such as population control, pollution, Communism and Capitalism, the economy, labor issues, sweatshops, low quality products, US debt to China and Tibet.
The survey also found that 49 percent of respondents were interested in Chinese history and culture, while 53 percent said they hoped to someday visit China.
The survey's margin of error was within 5 percent, according to PRI.
Set up in 1973, PRI has clients such as Cable News Network, General Electric, AT&T, VISA and American Airlines.
The survey was commissioned by the Blue Ocean Network International Communications Committee, a media organization that aims to promote better understanding of China among Westerners.