January 30, 2017

Scared of China? In U.S., fear runs along age, partisan lines

Special to Nikkei

Over the past quarter century, more than one U.S. president has pledged to get “tough on China.” In 1992, in the wake of the Tiananmen Square massacre, Bill Clinton promised not to coddle Beijing. George W. Bush vowed to change the U.S.-China relationship from one of “partnership” to one of “competition.” Most recently, Donald Trump has criticized the trade relationship between the U.S. and China, saying he would impose a 45% tariff on imports from China.

Among his supporters, Trump can count on ample backing for taking a tough line with China. And among the general U.S. public, too, there is considerable skepticism of China. Today, a majority (55%) of Americans hold an unfavorable view of the country, a trend that has held relatively constant since 2013.

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