Oroville Mercury-Register

AP-NORC poll: China’s global influence worries US majority


>> Just 40% of U.S. 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 6 in 10 say they are gravely concerned about China, the world’s secondlarg­est 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 Chinese 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 oneyear mark, the poll shows that serious concern about the threat Russia poses to the U.S. 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.”

Approval of Biden’s foreign policy is roughly 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.

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