'The fallout for China and Xi Jinping personally will be severe and long-lasting.'
FPI / April 26, 2020
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is engaged in a massive propaganda campaign aimed at deflecting criticism over its coronavirus negligence. It has not convinced Americans, who widely blame China for the devastation the virus has caused.
A Pew Research Center poll conducted last month showed that 66 percent of Americans now have a negative view of China, compared with 26 percent favorable. That is a 20 percent jump in unfavorable ratings since 2017 and are the worst numbers ever recorded for China despite the communist nation's global public relations campaign to portray its coronavirus response in a positive light.
"The conclusion seems clear: the CCP's pervasive global coronavirus propaganda campaign appears to have failed, at least among ordinary Americans. March, the month the poll was conducted, was probably the high point of Beijing’s attempts to convince the world that it had acted swiftly, openly, and responsibly to eradicate the coronavirus and warn the world. In the month since, it has become widely accepted that the CCP covered up the nature and extent of the epidemic, silenced whistleblowers, and misled the international community," Michael Auslin, a fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, wrote for RealClearPolitics.
"Furthermore, Beijing’s attempts to win praise for 'donating' medical supplies have faltered due to the millions of pieces of defective and substandard equipment it sold and shipped around the world. Now, from Missouri to India, local and national polities are considering how to sue China and are demanding reparations," Austin wrote.
The poll found that 91 percent believe it is better for the world if America is the world’s leading power, compared to just 4 percent who prefer China. Similarly, 83 percent believe the U.S. is the world’s leading military power, versus 6 percent who think it is China.
Nearly 90 percent of Americans polled believe that China’s power and influence are a threat, with 62 percent saying it is a “major” threat.
As for Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping, 71 percent of Pew poll respondents have “no confidence” in him.
Pew found that those with a college degree and above were slightly more negative about China than those without a college degree, but at 68 percent to 64 percent, both were healthy majorities. Even the youngest demographic, aged 18-29, held a 53 percent unfavorable view, compared to 71 percent of those aged 50 and above.
As for economics, 59 percent in the poll said the U.S. is the world’s leading economic power, compared to 30 percent for China. Over the past three years of the Trump administration, the number of Americans worried about the trade deficit has held largely steady at 49 percent, and a similar 52 percent have worried about job losses to China during the same years.
The coronavirus crisis "is not merely an economic, social, and epidemiological turning point for the world," Austin wrote. "As the Pew poll indicates, it is also a turning point for the world’s relations with China. Despite its best efforts, Beijing has failed to convince Americans and much of the world of its competence and goodwill. Instead, the CCP party-state is seen as an untrustworthy partner, and even more severely, as a threat, not merely in an abstract geopolitical way, but one directly affecting the health and well-being of families and communities. The fallout for China and Xi Jinping personally will be severe and long-lasting."
Free Press International