Americans name China as US’ greatest enemy for 4th consecutive year: poll


China remains the top perceived U.S. adversary for the fourth consecutive year, with 41% of Americans naming it as the United States' greatest enemy.

Key points:

  • In a recent Gallup poll, China is identified as the U.S.’ greatest enemy across all three partisan groups, followed by Russia and Iran.

  • In terms of Americans’ views of various countries, Russia and North Korea have the lowest favorability ratings.

  • Notably, the percentage of Americans identifying the U.S. as its own greatest enemy has risen to 5%, the highest recorded by Gallup since 2001.

The details:

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  • China was cited as the U.S.’ greatest enemy by respondents, ranking first among Republicans (67%) and independents (40%). Russia is ranked second among independents and almost ties for second place with Iran among Republicans. However, among Democrats, China comes in second with 18%, trailing behind Russia.

  • Despite China being perceived as the top adversary of the U.S., it was not rated the least favorably among the 21 countries surveyed. It has a 20% favorable rating, similar to that of the Palestinian Authority. The top-rated countries among Americans are Canada (83%), Japan (83%) and Great Britain (82%), while Russia and North Korea have the lowest favorable ratings at 8% and 9%, respectively.

  • The percentage of Americans naming China, Russia and North Korea as enemies have decreased compared to the previous year, while references to Iran have increased, likely influenced by news regarding Iran's support for the Houthis, a Yemeni rebel group involved in escalating attacks in the region.

  • In terms of Americans' perceptions of their nation’s greatest enemy, independents are significantly more inclined (11%) than Republicans (1%) or Democrats (2%) to name the U.S. itself as its greatest enemy, placing the U.S. third on their list.

About the survey:

  • Gallup's annual World Affairs poll was conducted from Feb. 1 to 20 with a random sample of 1,016 adults, aged 18 and up, living in all 50 American states and the District of Columbia. Interviews were conducted through landline telephones and cellular phones.

  • The survey was reportedly conducted before the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill aimed at compelling a sale of the Chinese-based social media app TikTok in the U.S. or imposing a ban if no sale occurs. This legislative action addresses concerns regarding potential national security risks associated with TikTok’s current ownership, particularly if the Chinese government were to access Americans’ data.

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