Roughly 66% of Americans hold an unfavorable view of China amid a pandemic that began in the communist nation before it flew around the world, killing more than 100,000 people in the process, a Pew Research Center poll found.
Republicans view China more unfavorably at 72% than Democrats at 62%, according to a Pew Research Center survey published Tuesday. The poll came as Americans of all ideological backgrounds grow increasingly critical of Beijing amid trade wars and pandemics.
Almost 90% of Americans view China as a threat, while just over 60% consider the country a major threat to the United States. Only 48% of Americans held that view in 2018. (RELATED: Following Backlash, CNN Scrambles To Stealth Edit Article Repeating Chinese PLA Propaganda)
“Economic factors, such as job losses to China and the trade deficit, remain key concerns for the American public,” Pew noted in the survey. “But other issues — including Chinese human rights policies and environmental degradation — also worry Americans.”
The poll was conducted between Mar. 3 and 29 at a time when Chinese officials were suggesting the United States was responsible for exporting the virus to China. Lijian Zhao, deputy director of China’s Foreign Ministry Information Department, for instance, began insinuating as much in early March.
“When did Patient Zero appear in the United States? How many people are infected? What is the name of the hospital? It may be that the US military brought the epidemic to Wuhan. America needs to be transparent! The United States owes us an explanation!” Zhao wrote in a March 12 tweet.
China denies its citizens access to the social media platform.
The survey polled 1,000 people and the margin of error is 3.7 percentage points.
Critics lampooned former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign Monday for creating an ad targeting President Donald Trump’s supposed weak response to China. Biden’s ad accused the president of “rolling over for the Chinese” and letting 40,000 travelers into the United States from China.
The Intercept editor Glenn Greenwald, for instance, mocked Democrats in an April 18 tweet for praising the ad after calling Trump “racist” for restricting travel from China in January. Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign is trying to thrust upon Biden a sticky nickname ahead of the 2020 election in November.
Pro-Trump super PAC America First Action is spending $10 million testing advertisements labeling the former vice president “Beijing Biden” in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, all of which voted for Trump in 2016. The president is trying to paint his likely general election opponent as soft on China given Biden’s past comments praising elements of the country’s policies.
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