The novel coronavirus pandemic has given rise to a new generation of China hawks in America according to a Pew Research study.
And it’s about time.
In short: 66 percent of Americans hold “unfavorable views of China,” 62 percent view “China’s power and influence [as] a major threat,” and 91 percent now say it’s “better for the America to be the world’s leading power than China.”
To be clear: these sentiments are directed towards the Chinese Communist Party, not hard-working Chinese citizens who are the first victim of the regime’s iron fist and irreverence for human rights, but American workers, who’ve seen their jobs and livelihoods shipped overseas, are close behind.
Seventy-one percent of Americans have “no confidence in President Xi.”
President Trump’s messaging on China precipitated this unprecedented shift in public opinion – only 47 percent of Americans viewed China in a negative light in 2017 – but the coronavirus and CCP’s culpability in the spread added fuel to the fire.
Pew explains the causes: “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.”
The abuses are so blatant even “younger people, who have historically been more positive than older Americans toward China, now increasingly hold negative views of the country and are more prone to see it as a threat to the U.S. than in previous years.”
While these sentiments have swelled across both parties, Republicans tend to toe a more hawkish line on China. Nearly three-quarters of those on the right view China unfavorably, while with almost six-in-ten of left-wingers do.
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But also remember that in the great game of geopolitics, China isn’t worried about being hated. They’re worried about becoming the world’s new superpower, and overtaking the United States – made easier by establishment forces willing to wage impetuous wars in the Middle East lacking long-term strategy while leaving American workers and manufacturers to defend themselves against the CCP’s predatory economic schemes.
But it’s clear that President Trump has reversed the era of “managed decline”: Over 90 percent of Americans agree that the world is better off if the United States is its leading power.
Divestment from China isn’t just a pipe dream: Americans have the means and motive to do so.
Natalie Winters contributed to this report