The Pew Research Center recently released a poll showing that Americans' views of China have continued to worsen amid the ongoing spread of the coronavirus. Among American adults, unfavorable views have risen seven percentage points since March of this year and the research found that there is a widespread perception that the government in Beijing mishandled the intitial outbreak as well as its subsequent spread. Today, 73 percent of U.S. adults view China unfavorably, up 26 percentage points on 2018, while in 2010 that figure was just 36 percent.
There are many possible reasons for the worsening views over the past decade such as Beijing's territorial claims in the South China Sea, the trade war and of course, the handling of the Covid-19 outbreak. Currently, older Americans are the most negative with 81 percent of over 50s holding an unfavorable view of China compared to 56 percent of those aged between 18 and 29. Both sides of the political spectrum find China unfavorable - 83 percent of Republicans or Republican leaners along with 68 percent of Democrats or Democrat leaners.
Delving deeper into Pew's survey, the extent of U.S. negative opinion quickly becomes apparent. The research found that 78 percent of U.S. adults place a great or fair amount of blame for the pandemic on the Chinese government's initial handling of the outbreak while 77 percent of respondents said they have little or no confidence in Xi Jinping doing the right thing regarding global affairs. Furthermore, 68 percent of Americans think economic ties between the two superpowers are in bad shape while 26 percent would even go as far as saying China is an enemy of the United States.