By Bruce Stokes, Director of Global Economic Attitudes , Pew Research Center
Special to Foreign Policy
Russia’s annexation of Crimea and China’s territorial ambitions in the East and South China Seas are a stark reminder that balance of power politics are alive and well in the 21st century, long after some pundits dismissed them as relics of a bygone era.
And while geostrategists debate whether a new Cold War is in the offing, the American public has already begun to make its own judgment. Yes, Americans’ views of both Russia and China are worsening. But they see neither Moscow nor Beijing as an “enemy,” nor do they have the stomach for a military — or even economic — confrontation with Russia over Ukraine.
In 2007, 44 percent of the American people had a favorable view of Russia and 42 percent had a positive opinion of China, according to Pew Research Center surveys. By 2013, favorability of Russia had fallen to 32 percent and favorability of China to 33 percent, according to a Pew Research Center survey at the time.
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