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Americans list China as top threat in new survey

Americans list China as the top threat to the U.S., according to a new survey from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute.

The survey found 52 percent of Americans view China as the biggest international threat to the U.S., up 15 percent from this past February.

The number is up more than 20 percent from 2019 and 2018, when 28 percent and 21 percent respectively saw China as the biggest threat to the U.S.

While Americans see China as the biggest threat, Russia and Iran came in next at 14 percent and 12 percent respectively, followed by Afghanistan at 5 percent and Iran at 4 percent. 

The increase comes as China and the U.S. have grown contentious on issues such as Taiwan, human rights and the coronavirus. 

Beijing has been angered by Washington over remarks from U.S. officials supporting Taiwan and accusations that China is committing genocide in the Xinjiang region against Uyghur Muslims.

While Americans are more likely to view China as a threat, confidence in the U.S. military's ability to keep the country safe has also eroded, according to the poll.

Only 45 percent of Americans trust the military "a great deal," an 11 percent drop since February and a 25 percent drop since 2018.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute identified a drop in confidence across demographic groups, stating the drop "seems to be more about a general negative sense than a predominant or precise reason, though political leadership tops the list."

The survey was conducted among 2,523 adults between Oct. 25 and Nov. 7. The margin of error is 1.96 percentage points.