Americans See China And Russia As Adversaries Posing Two Different Threats
  • Americans consider China a far greater economic threat than Russia.
    • By a vast 62-point margin (81%-19%), respondents consider China, rather than Russia, to be a greater economic threat to the United States.
    • There is a little partisan difference; both Republicans (85%-15%) and Democrats (78%-22%) agree that China poses a more serious economic threat than Russia.
  • But, Americans clearly identify Russia as the greater military threat, with Democrats more wary of the Kremlin than Republicans.
  • Americans overwhelmingly view both China and Russia as adversaries.
    • Americans consider Russia an adversary, not an ally, by a 79%-21% margin. China is also considered an adversary by a 65%-35% margin.
    • There is a significant difference by ethnicity when it comes to viewing China, as non-White adults consider China an adversary 58%-42%, significantly less than White adults consider China an adversary 69%-31%.
  • There is a wide age gap in how these two countries are viewed. Millennials are significantly less apprehensive towards Russia and China than older Americans, going so far as considering China more of an ally than an adversary.
    • Older respondents are extremely skeptical of both countries. Respondents age 65+ (old enough remember Soviet brutality and Tiananmen Square) view Russia as an adversary by an 88%-12% margin, and China as an adversary by 87%-13%.
    • Millennials on the other hand, view China as an ally by a 52%-48% margin, and Russia as an adversary by 69%-31%.
  • Given how Americans view Russia and its military, it should not be a surprise that they believe it is more important for the US to negotiate nuclear arms agreements with Moscow over Beijing.
    • When asked “which country do you think it is most important for the United States to negotiate nuclear arms treaties with?” respondents choose Russia 64%-36%. This wide margin is consistent across partisanship, age and ethnicity.
    • There aren’t any significant partisan differences when it comes to nuclear arms negotiations. All key groups choose Russia by approximately a 2-1 margin.



Methodology: Internet survey of N=805 adults nationally conducted April 23-24, 2019

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