WASHINGTON — Just 40 percent of US adults approve of how 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 six in 10 say they are gravely concerned about China, the world’s second-largest economy after the United States, according to the survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Biden has portrayed his domestic agenda on infrastructure and computer chip development as part of a broader competition with China, arguing that the future is at stake.
Tensions with China are crackling after government officials discovered and shot down a Chi-nese spy balloon two weeks ago. 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 will provide some form of military support for Russia’s war in Ukraine. As the war nears its one-year mark, the poll shows that serious concern about the threat Russia poses to the US has fallen. Concern about China now outpaces that about Russia; last year, about even percentages had named the two countries as a threat.
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.” (AP)