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Democrats And Republicans Agree: China Has ‘No Respect’ For Its People’s Rights

Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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In an increasingly polarized America, Democrats and Republicans can agree on at least one thing: China does not respect its people’s personal freedoms.

Ninety percent of Americans agreed with that assessment in a newly-released Pew Research poll. Ninety-three percent of Republicans and Republican-leaners agreed, as did 87% of Democrats and Democrat-leaners.

Pew surveyed respondents from 17 different countries. The American portion of the poll was conducted between Feb. 1 and Feb. 7 of 2021 and gathered 2,596 responses. The margin of error is 2.7 points. (RELATED: ‘Lack Of Chinese Transparency’ Was Ultimate ‘Source Of Death’ In Pandemic, Expert Tells House Republicans)

Across the 17 advanced economies surveyed, views of China and its leadership largely reached record-lows. The number of respondents who said China doesn’t respect its people’s rights is at or near historic highs in nearly every country surveyed, and is above 80% in 15 of the 17.

A median of 88% of people across all 17 countries surveyed said China doesn’t respect its people’s freedoms, compared to eight percent who said it does. China has increasingly cracked down on civil liberties in Hong Kong in the last year, and more countries have began to classify the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang as genocide.

When asked how they view China generally, 76% of Americans answered unfavorably, up from 73% in 2020. Canada, Germany and South Korea also reached or matched historic highs on the question, and a majority of respondents from every country answered unfavorably with the exception of Singapore and Greece.

China has been the subject of increased scrutiny from much of the West, particularly the United States, since the presidency of Donald Trump. President Joe Biden has sought to take a similar “tough on China” stance, as have some of his European allies. (RELATED: Science Journal Editor Says He Resigned After Publisher Said He Can’t Boycott China)

Large majorities of respondents around the world said they preferred their country have stronger economic ties with the U.S. than China. In countries like South Korea and Australia, which preferred China as recently as 2015, the U.S. is now viewed far more favorably.

Chinese President Xi Jinping received negative marks from every country except Singapore, which has a sizeable population of ethnic Chinese citizens. Eighty-two percent of Americans said they have “no confidence” Xi will do the right thing regarding global affairs compared to just eight percent who did have confidence. Globally, the median split was 77% with no confidence to 20% with confidence. (RELATED: Pro Democracy Hong Kong Newspaper Will Close Following The Arrest Of Executives)

In the Asia-Pacific region, opinions were split on whether to prioritize economic ties with China or to try and promote human rights in the country, even if it meant economic harm. Respondents in New Zealand, Japan, Australia and Taiwan preferred promotion of human rights, while Singaporean and South Korean residents said economic ties should take a higher priority.

The poll was released on the eve of the CCP’s 100th anniversary. Founded in 1921, the CCP has been the sole ruling party of the People’s Republic of China since 1949, overseeing the country’s transformation into a communist global power. Xi is leading CCP celebrations of the centennial this week.