As the U.S.-China relationship continues to grow — evidenced by the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the United States this week — perceptions of China by Americans and views of the U.S. by Chinese have seen mixed results over the last decade.
According to a Pew Research Center survey of more than 1,000 Americans questioned between April 13-May 3, 2015, only 38 percent have a favorable view of China, while 54 percent hold an unfavorable view of the country.
The survey found that older Americans and members of the Republican party have a more negative view towards China. Sixty-three percent of Republicans give China an unfavorable rating compared to 51 percent of Independents and 50 percent of Democrats.
There’s also a generation gap, as 64 percent of those 50 and older have a negative opinion of China, while only 39 percent of those under 30 hold a negative view.
In China, the views of Americans were slightly higher. According to another Pew poll, the 2015 Spring Global Attitudes Survey, 44 percent of Chinese hold a favorable view of the United States, but this was actually a decline from 50 percent in 2014.
Around the world, China has received generally positive ratings from other countries. According to the same global attitudes survey, a median of 55 percent of people across the countries surveyed (excluding China) have a favorable view of China.
Favorable views of China were more concentrated in Africa and Latin America, the survey found, and the most-favorable views were in Pakistan, Ghana, Russia, and Malaysia.
In Malaysia, 88 percent of ethnic Chinese have a positive view of China, while 74 percent ethnic Malays agree with this assessment.
The Global Attitudes Survey also found that most people around the world believe that China will or has already replaced the U.S. as the world’s leading superpower. The survey found that the majority in 27 of 40 countries said that China will eventually take the U.S.’s place as the global superpower.