A recent poll conducted by Quinnipiac University reveals that despite the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Americans still overwhelmingly consider China the biggest foreign threat to the United States.
According to the poll, 61 percent of Americans see China as the country’s greatest threat, almost triple the 22 percent of people who chose Russia. The poll also revealed mixed reactions to President Joe Biden’s approach to Ukraine, with 45 percent of respondents approving and 47 percent disapproving.
While lawmakers in the U.S. remain divided over sending additional aid to Ukraine, the issue is not a top priority for the general public. The poll showed that only six percent of respondents consider it the most important issue facing the U.S., with 29 percent saying inflation and 10 percent citing immigration and gun violence respectively.
Nearly half of the respondents supported a national ban on TikTok, while 42 percent of respondents said they opposed such a move. TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is based in Beijing and has close ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Lawmakers in the U.S. fear that the CCP may use the company to steal users’ data, leading numerous U.S. states and foreign countries to ban the app’s use on official devices.
The U.S. is also involved in diplomatic hostilities with China on various fronts, including China’s claims over Taiwan, maritime disputes in the South China Sea, and Beijing’s support for Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Concerns over China have also increasingly become a bipartisan issue. Last week, the Senate voted unanimously to declassify intelligence related to the theory that the COVID-19 pandemic was the result of a lab leak in the city of Wuhan.
According to a recent report from NBC, Biden is hoping to ease tensions with Beijing by taking advantage of the personal relationship he has developed with dictator Xi Jinping over the past decade.
“In the system that’s currently configured in China … there’s an increasing sense that you have to be talking at the leader level to get decisions,” a Biden administration official told the outlet. “The president’s belief in the importance of bilateral personal relationships has been validated in the U.S.-China dynamic… But it’s also our only option. There are no other venues where we can constructively engage deeply.”
In his State of the Union address last month, Biden also issued a warning about the China threat but despite considerable evidence to the contrary, also insisted that America is in “the strongest position in decades to compete with China or anyone else in the world.”
“Before I came to office, the story was about how the People’s Republic of China was increasing its power and America was failing in the world,” he said. “I’m committed to working with China where we can advance American interests and benefit the world. But make no mistake about it: As we made clear last week, if China threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country.”
The Quinnipiac poll was conducted from March 9-13 and surveyed 1,795 U.S. adults, with a margin of error of +/- 2.3 percent.