Economic factors, such as job losses to China and the trade deficit, remain key concerns for the American public. But other issues – including Chinese human rights policies and environmental degradation – also worry Americans. Many of these issues play a role in how the public views China more broadly: Those who see the China-related topics included in the study as a serious problem generally have less favorable views of China overall.
As the economies of both China and the United States struggle with the impact of the current pandemic, more Americans now see the U.S. as the world’s leading economic power than at any time over the past 12 years. In fact, Americans now see the U.S. as more of an economic powerhouse than China by roughly two-to-one (59% vs. 30%). Americans also overwhelmingly believe their country leads the world militarily and that the world is better off with U.S. leadership as opposed to that of China.