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Over half of the people in China and the United States have a favorable opinion of each other and call for closer cooperation in politics, trade and diplomacy, according to the US-China Public Perceptions Opinion Survey released by the Committee of 100 on June 27.
Compared with the last survey in 2007, the favorable opinion toward China has increased among all the US respondents' groups, particularly among business leaders. In China, the figure among the general public held steady at around 60 percent, but remains over 90 percent among opinion leaders and business leaders.
A belief in the US that China will be the world's leading superpower in 20 years increased among all the respondents' groups. The majority of all US respondents think China will be the future leading power in the Asia-Pacific region over the next 20 years, an increase across all groups, except policymakers, from 2007.
Economic issues dominate US-China matters. The top two US concerns are loss of jobs to China and the US trade deficit with China. The top two Chinese concerns are China's exchange rate policy and also the US trade deficit with China.
Many common interest areas are also potential conflict points for US respondents. Trade is a most likely source of conflict for all US respondents, while Chinese elites consider security in the Asia-Pacific region as the greatest source of potential conflict.
The American public is evenly divided on whether China should be trusted, with elites leaning toward less trust. The Chinese public and elites are also divided on whether or not to trust the US.
But the well being of the US and China is now considered deeply intertwined. Each is recognized as the other's most important partner. Both countries need each other more than ever to resolve global challenges.
For China to trust the US, American elites indicated that it is necessary to enhance communication, understand cultural differences, and improve fair trade, the trade deficit and diplomatic cooperation. Similarly, Chinese elites urged communication and cooperation, non-interference in Chinese internal matters, reduced political posturing, and respecting and understanding China.
The Committee of 100 is an international, non-profit, non-partisan membership organization that aims to bring a Chinese-American perspective to issues concerning Asian Americans and US-China relations.
The organization's members are Chinese Americans who have achieved prominence in a variety of fields.
The organization's opinion survey project began in 1994 and produced opinion surveys in 2001, 2005 and 2007.
The 2012 survey interviewed 4,135 people in China and around 1,400 people in the US from December 2011 to January 2012.