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62% Now See China As Threat to America

Americans believe more strongly than ever that China is a long-term threat to the United States, and they overwhelmingly feel that threat is economic rather than military.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows just 12% of Adults do not think China is a long-term danger to America. Sixty-two percent (62%) disagree and feel the growing Asian powerhouse is a long-term threat to this country. That’s a 12-point jump from 50% in February of last year. One-in-four Americans (26%) aren’t sure.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Seventy percent (70%) think China is a bigger threat economically than militarily. Only 15% see it more as a military threat, while another 15% are not sure.

This marks a slight shift from April just after the International Monetary Fund projected that China will surpass the United States as the world's largest economy by 2016. At that time, 76% said China was a greater economic threat, and just eight percent (8%) viewed the danger as largely a military one.

Only nine percent (9%) of Americans now consider China a U.S. ally. Twenty-seven percent (27%) view the communist nation as an enemy, up from 16% in April and the most negative assessment in three years of surveying on this question. Fifty-eight percent (58%) rate China somewhere in between an ally and an enemy.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on September 27-28, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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