Americans view China as top foe ahead of Russia: Gallup

(Li Xueren/Xinhua via AP)
In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech for a Spring Festival reception the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Friday, Jan. 20, 2023.

Americans view China as the country’s top foe on the world stage even as the United States sends billions to Ukraine as Russia’s war continues into its second year. 

A Gallup poll found 50 percent of Americans think China is the country’s “greatest enemy,” while 32 percent name Russia.

China has seen a sharp uptick in the poll, jumping from 22 percent in 2020 to 45 percent in 2021, after the COVID-19 pandemic appeared in Wuhan, China, and then spread across the world.

Taken throughout February, the Gallup poll coincided with the takedown of a Chinese surveillance balloon that spent days floating across the continental U.S., as well as with new concerns that China could move to equip Russia with lethal aid in its war on Ukraine. 

Russia jumped up from 23 percent in 2020 to 32 percent in 2022, the year Moscow invaded its neighbor, and has remained level.

Broken down by party, Democrats are more likely to pick Russia as the biggest enemy, with 53 percent naming Russia and 30 percent naming China. Republicans are the opposite, with just 12 percent naming Russia and 76 percent naming China.

In third place with 7 percent is North Korea, a notable fall from 2018, when more than 50 percent named the country as the top U.S. enemy. Iran, which was most likely to be listed as the greatest foe at multiple points between 2006 and 2012, was selected by just 2 percent of respondents.

The Gallup poll, taken Feb. 1-23, surveyed 1,008 American adults and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Tags China Gallup russia

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