October 5, 2012

Americans Concerned about Size of U.S. Debt Owed to China

78%

Nearly eight-in-ten adults (78%) say the large amount of American debt that is held by China is a very serious problem for the U.S.

Americans express far more concern about China’s economic strength than about its military strength. This is reflected in the solid majorities that say the large amount of American debt that is held by China, the loss of U.S. jobs to China and the U.S. trade deficit with China are very serious problems for the United States.

Nearly eight-in-ten people (78%) say the large amount of American debt that is held by China is a very serious problem for the U.S.; majorities also consider the loss of U.S. jobs to China (71%) and the U.S. trade deficit with China (61%) to be very serious problems for their country. Meanwhile, 49% say China’s growing military power is a very serious problem for the U.S.

Republicans and independents are more concerned than Democrats about economic issues related to China. For example, while 71% of Republicans and 66% of independents say the U.S. trade deficit with China is a very serious problem, just over half of Democrats (54%) express similar concern. And while solid majorities across partisan groups see the loss of U.S. jobs to China and the large amount of American debt held by China as very serious, somewhat fewer Democrats say this is the case.

For the most part, foreign affairs experts surveyed by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project — government officials, retired military officers, journalists, business leaders and policy experts –are less concerned than the general public about issues related to China. For example, fewer than four-in-ten of each group say the loss of U.S. jobs to China, the U.S. trade deficit with China, China’s growing military power and China’s policies on human rights are very serious problems for the U.S. Read More