The relationship, improved after Nixon’s visit, has had warm and cold periods. But in this century, it has become much more fraught with conflict. The rise of China’s economic and military power and the presidency of Xi Jinping have led to a shift from competition to confrontation, especially after the election of Donald Trump.
Americans have increasingly negative views of China. A recent Pew Research poll shows the dramatic recent surge of unfavorable ratings to a historic high since data has been collected in 2005. It reflects a host of issues and the views of Democratic and Republican adherents.
In follow-up questions, Pew identifies, along with the pandemic, job loss and the trade deficit as key concerns, along with environment factors and human rights abuses. Although Republicans have more negative views of China (72% negative), Democrats also have an unfavorable view (62%).