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China no longer US' 'greatest enemy': Gallup

Updated: 2015-03-01 11:02
By Niu Yue in New York (China Daily USA)

China is now seen as less of a threat to Americans, thanks to Russia's actions in Ukraine and terrorist group ISIS, according to polls done by Gallup in February.

China, the world's most populous country and second-largest economy, is no longer the greatest enemy in Americans' mind, according to a poll published on Thursday. Only 12 percent of Americans see China as their greatest enemy.

Russia (18 percent) and North Korea (15 percent) ranked first and second on the list. Gallup said the situation in the Ukraine has made Americans rate Russia worst since the end of the Cold War.

The drop in China's ranking comes after a 23 percent mark in 2012, when China was second to Iran, and 20 percent in 2014, when it topped the list.

If Russia and the US could find common grounds in Iran, Iraq and DPRK, Gallup says, Americans' perception of Russia could recover quickly.

In both 2013 and 2014, 52 percent of Americans viewed China's economic power as a "critical threat". That number dropped to 40 percent in the most recent poll.

The poll also found that 44 percent of Americans see China's economic power as an "important threat", and 14 percent view it as a "not important threat," rising from 39 and 8 percent in 2013 respectively.

The drop in the percentage of Americans who consider China's economic power a critical threat, Gallup said, may be caused by other more headline-catching international hotspots, such as ISIS (84 percent), Iran's nuclear weapons (77 percent), North Korea's military (64 percent) and Russia (49 percent).

"A US economy that is arguably stronger than at any point since the recession, as well as a slowing Chinese economy, are also possible factors in Americans' seeing China's economic power as less of a threat than in recent years," Gallup said.

China's GDP grew 7.4 percent last year, the slowest in two decades, while the US' GDP rose 2.4 percent, the best since 2010.

Meanwhile, the general view towards China improved slightly, with 50 percent of Americans viewing China unfavorably and 44 percent favorably, compared with 53 percent unfavorable and 43 percent favorable in 2014.

Results of both polls are based on telephone interviews with a random sample of 837 adults.

Lu Huiquan in New York contributed to this story.

 

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