C100 Survey Reveals Hopes and Concerns of American and Chinese People for U.S.-China Relations

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in the United States for his first meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump today, bolstered by significant domestic Chinese support and increased Chinese optimism about the country’s trajectory.

Initial findings from the forthcoming Committee of 100 (C100) U.S.-China Public Perceptions and Opinion Survey 2017 reveal that 92% of Chinese respondents think that China is headed on the right track. Relative to four years ago, there is also greater Chinese support for China’s leaders to grow their international stature through diplomacy and take a global leadership role.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with President Xi Jinping

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet in March 2017. Source: U.S. Department of State

Q2 - C-100 US-China Public Perceptions Survey - 2017 - HC edits

More Chinese Expect Relations to Improve Under Current Administration

With more Chinese believing that the U.S.-China relationship will improve (32%) rather than worsen (23%) under the Trump administration, this is an opportune time for both countries and their leaders to set the bilateral relationship on a hopeful and mutually beneficial path.

Common Ground in Concerns

The C100 survey also revealed that while each country had concerns about the other – with Americans most worried about the trade deficit, U.S. job loss to China, and cybersecurity, and the Chinese most concerned about the U.S. military presence in the Asia-Pacific region and issues on Taiwan – there were also areas of common concern around issues of climate change and North Korea.

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Q21C - C-100 US-China Public Perceptions Survey - 2017 - HC edits

Mutual Agreement on Areas for Collaboration

For the first time, Americans and Chinese are in agreement about the main areas in which both countries would benefit from working together: trade, global financial stability, and the environment.Q18 - C-100 US-China Public Perceptions Survey - 2017 - HC edits

At this critical inflection point in U.S.-China relations, these areas of common interest between the two countries should invite expanded cooperation and creative collaboration at the highest levels. The Committee of 100 urges the leaders of both countries to seize this opportunity to focus on issues of mutual interest and exercise collective global leadership.


ABOUT THE C100 U.S.-CHINA PUBLIC PERCEPTIONS OPINION SURVEY 2017

These initial findings are part of the full C100 U.S.-China Public Perceptions Opinion Survey 2017, planned for release in May at the C100 Annual Conference 2017 in Washington, D.C.

C100’s Opinion Survey project began in 1994 and produced surveys in 2001, 2005, 2007, 2012, and 2017. The objective of this study is to determine American attitudes toward China, and, as a “mirror,” measure Chinese attitudes toward America on key issues in U.S.-China relations and salient domestic issues in both countries.

While this initial release only covered answers from the American and Chinese general population, the full survey results will show responses from four target respondent groups in both countries, including the general public, business leaders, policy experts, and journalists.


SURVEY METHODOLOGY

In 2017, the Committee of 100 collaborated with Brunswick Insights to conduct the English-language national survey in the United States. The data for the national China survey are drawn from Horizon Dataway’s own continuous self-sponsored and annually released survey on China’s global views, “The World in Chinese Eyes.”

The 2017 survey covered 79 questions, 55 of which were asked in both the U.S. and China, 9 in the United States only, and 15 in China only. About 80% of the survey questions in 2017 were repeated from the 2012 survey.

Survey Methods

Screenshot 2017-04-11 12.23.58

 


DATA CHARTS

Download a PDF of the survey data here or view online here. The full report will be released at the C100 Annual Conference 2017.

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