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Asia & US: Is China a friend or foe or … competitor?

http://www.readthespirit.com/ourvalues/wp-content/uploads/sites/17/2013/03/wpid-0311ov_Shanghai_skyscapers.jpgShanghai World Financial Center and Jin Mao Tower, photo taken by Jakub Halun and released for public use via Wikimedia Commons.THE MAJORITY of Americans say US-China relations are good, according to the Pew Research Center. Does that make China a friend or partner of the US?

Only 16 percent of the American public says that China is a partner. On this point, most experts agree with the general public. Pew surveyed foreign policy experts in government, retired military, business, academia, and the news media.

If China isn’t a friend, is it a foe? Most people say no. Very few members of the general public or various experts consider China to be an enemy.

If neither friend nor foe, what is China? A competitor. That’s what two-thirds of the general public believe, and an even higher percentage of each of the expert groups feels the same way.

This is a competition in which Americans don’t believe there is a level playing field. Over two-thirds of Americans (68%) say China can’t be trusted. Republicans are more likely to distrust China (74 percent), but Demoncrats distrust China as well (61 percent). Of the nine countries given by Pew as comparisons, the only nations considered less trustworthy than China were Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The most trusted nations on Pew’s list are Britain and Japan.

Generally, Americans are more worried about China’s economic strength than its military strength. Yesterday, The Wall Street journal, in print and online, ran an article about a “China Dream” of increased military power, both in Asia and in the world. If this comes to fruition, worries may shift from economic to military concerns.

Do you consider China to be a friend?

A foe?

A competitor?

Do you worry about China’s economy?

Or its military?

Please, leave a Comment below.

Originally published at www.OurValues.org, an experiment in civil dialogue about American values.

 

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