Almost half of the US population sees China and its growing economic power as a "critical threat" to the United States, a recent Gallup poll revealed.
A survey conducted last month asked the respondents whether they view China as a "critical threat," an "important, but not critical threat," or not important at all.
Some 46 percent of respondents viewed China as a critical threat, a 6 percent rise from a mostly stable level of 40 to 41 percent recorded between 2015 and 2018, the poll says.
Only 41 percent of respondents said they have a "favorable view" of China — a 12 percent drop compared to the previous year, and also the lowest point since Gallup established its world affairs survey seven years ago, the report says.
According to Gallup, the shift in US views on China happened mostly over the past 12 months. The sharp decline in favourable views followed "a year of escalating trade disagreements between the two nations," Gallup reports.
Last year, the disagreements escalated into an outright "trade war," as both nations imposed high tariffs on goods originating from each other's territory.
"The two sides are still trying to negotiate a deal to bring it to an end and address US accusations that China is engaging in a range of unfair trade practices such as forced technology transfers and intellectual property theft," SCMP reports.