United States cited as top threat to China, survey shows

WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 (UPI) — Nearly half of Chinese respondents to a Pew Research Center survey say the United States is the No. 1 threat to China’s security.

The survey of more than 3,000 respondents, who overwhelmingly believe China is playing an important role in world affairs, shows the United States is being viewed as a greater threat than the Islamic State or a potential global economic downturn.

The proportion of survey respondents, 45 percent, who hold this view is an increase. In 2013, 39 percent of those surveyed regarded the United States as the top threat to China’s national security.

A feeling of superpower rivalry may also be prevalent among those who responded. While half of the respondents said they hold positive impressions of the United States, more than half, or 52 percent, said that they think the United States is trying to diminish China’s presence on the world stage so that the two countries cannot stand as equals.

Age and education level of the respondent played a role in how the United States was perceived. The younger and the more educated the respondent, the more favorably he or she would view the United States, according to Pew.

The majority of the respondents, or 75 percent, said China is playing a more important role in global affairs than it did 10 years ago, and most of those surveyed, 60 percent, said China’s engagement in the world economy is good for the country.

But while economic engagement was viewed positively, less than half of respondents, or 44 percent, said they support military engagement in combating terrorism overseas, and only 22 percent said China should assist other countries with their problems.

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