July 9, 2014

Americans, especially young adults, back strong economic ties with China


As leaders from the U.S. and China meet this week in Beijing to discuss a range of economic and political issues, Americans are more likely to support stronger economic ties with China than a tougher approach.

About half of Americans (51%) say it is more important to build a stronger relationship with China on economic issues, while 41% say it is more important to get tougher with China, according to a poll conducted Feb. 12-26 among 3,337 adults. This data was released in the Pew Research Center’s political typology study on June 26.

Public support for a strong economic relationship with China has bounced back to where it was three years ago, after declining in 2012.

Two years ago, the balance of opinion was the opposite. Nearly half (49%) of Americans in 2012 said it was more important to get tougher with China, while fewer (42%) viewed a stronger relationship as more important.

This trend can be seen across most groups; support for stronger economic ties has grown, but there continues to be substantial age and partisan differences in priorities for the U.S.-China economic relationship.

FT_young-china-viewsFully 72% of those under 30 prioritize stronger U.S. economic ties with China compared with just 23% who say it is more important to get tough with China. Older age groups are more evenly divided in views of priorities for U.S.-China economic relations.

Republicans, especially conservative Republicans, remain more likely than independents or Democrats to favor a tougher approach to China on economic issues. A majority of conservative Republicans (57%) favor getting tougher with China. That compares with 46% of moderate and liberal Republicans, and smaller percentages of independents (39%) and Democrats (36%).

Topics: China, Foreign Affairs and Policy

  1. Photo of Hannah Fingerhut

    is a research analyst focusing on U.S. politics and policy at Pew Research Center.


  1. Richard Tebaldi3 years ago

    Perhaps you need to define “young adults”. The “history” some of us learned, was and is skewed, making “integrity of one’s decisions’ moot. Some of us need to research for ourselves the truth, if it exists. I am appalled when I research a pollster’s question asked, and discover that what I’ve been taught has been skewed to make someone or something more important than the truth. America’s history of Native Americans, for example. Our real “reasons” for going into Viet Nam or Desert Storm. Our putting our young soldiers in harm’s way by “tying their arms behind their backs” and then treating them as criminals or forgetting they exist. Our treatment of the mentally impaired. The waste and lies about our health care system. The wasted spending of tax dollars. Our Government’s attempt to take control of our lives, and make decisions for us, as if we are totally incompetent. America has been brought down to the lowest denomination in the name of equality! “Equality” as in the Constitution, gives us “the Opportunity” to grow, not the RIGHT to take from others who we perceive don’t deserve what they earned! America cannot fix other wrongs in the world before fixing itself. You cannot reach down to help someone if you’re arms are tied behind you….if your own people are hurting, if you are 17 trillion dollars plus in debt. If your “representatives” in Congress are putting your representatives in office with huge donations to do their bidding and with lobbyists “instructing them” Fix American politics first, then Americans will become less apathetic and more willing to donate time and money to causes when they can see the improvements for the gifts they give instead of “Death threats”!

  2. slk3 years ago

    when they can continue to not find jobs, maybe they’ll think it over!!!