Just 40 percent of US adults approve of how US President Joe Biden is handling relations with China, a new poll shows, with a majority anxious about Beijing’s influence as the White House finds its agenda increasingly shaped by global rivalries.
About 60 percent of respondents said they are gravely concerned about China, the survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showed.
Biden has portrayed his domestic agenda on infrastructure and computer chip development as part of a broader competition with China, saying the future is at stake.
The Biden administration has preserved tariffs on imports from China and restricted the sale of advanced computer chips to the country, angering Chinese officials who want to fuel faster economic growth.
There are additional concerns over whether China would provide some form of military support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
However, the poll showed that serious concern about the threat Russia poses to the US has fallen.
Concern about China outpaced that about Russia, the poll showed, after about even percentages of respondents named the two countries as a threat in a similar poll last year.
Biden has tried to frame relations with China as a competition with boundaries, rather than as a larger geopolitical clash.
“We seek competition, not conflict, with China,” Biden said last week. “ We’re not looking for a new cold war... We’ll responsibly manage that competition so that it doesn’t veer into conflict.”
Approval of Biden’s foreign policy is in line with views of his presidency more broadly, a possible sign that his agenda is not viewed through its individual components, but larger perceptions of the president himself.
The poll showed that 45 percent of respondents said they approve of Biden’s overall performance, while 54 percent disapproved.
Concern about China’s global influence as a threat to the US is similar to last year, but has in the past few years grown steadily from 54 percent just after Biden took office and 48 percent in January 2020.
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