Analysis: Biden has the responsibility to confront the Chinese Communist Party in accordance with American public opinion

As President Biden and his foreign policy team begin to develop their approach to China in earnest, multiple polls are profoundly instructive. They suggest that it is incumbent upon the current U.S. administration to pursue a significant set of national policies and strategies to confront and contain Communist China, in accordance with public opinion.

Since Biden’s inauguration as U.S. president, there has been much interest in whether he will be tough on the CCP and whether the Biden Administration will continue to confront the CCP by following past policies on China.

Ilan Berman, senior vice president of the Washington, D.C.-based Foreign Policy Council, and Michael Sobolik, an Indo-Pacific research fellow at the council, wrote in an article on The Hill website that Biden is likely to be tough on the Chinese Communist Party, according to several U.S. polls. Biden has a responsibility to confront the Chinese Communist Party based on public opinion, according to several polls.

The Trump administration has made the concept of “great power competition” with Communist China a central tenet of its foreign policy, codifying it in several national documents and strategic directives during his tenure.

President Joe Biden, for his part, has publicly declared that the United States needs to engage in “long-term strategic competition” with China (the Communist Party of China), the article said. But there are lingering concerns about whether the White House, faced with competing strategic priorities, will renege on such commitments in order to gain Beijing‘s cooperation on issues such as climate change or a new nuclear deal with Iran. Notably, such a grueling negotiation process with Beijing would run counter to the wishes of the American people, who are now more inclined than ever to view Communist China as an adversary and competitor.

New Poll Shows Americans View Communist China More Unfavorably

The article mentions the results of a new Gallup poll just released that examines Americans’ attitudes toward Communist China.

The poll of a random sample of 1,021 adults, conducted in February and released Tuesday (March 16), shows that 45 percent of Americans say Communist China (CCP) is their worst enemy, a figure twice as high as in 2020. 76 percent of Republicans, 43 percent of independents, and 22 percent of Democrats view the CCP as their worst enemy.

Americans’ favorable view of China (the CCP) has also declined for the second year in a row, with the number now at a record low of 20%. For Republicans, where more tend to view Communist China with skepticism, only 10% have a favorable view of the CCP, which is down 13% from the 2020 figure. But the popularity of Communist China has also declined among Democrats; Gallup’s survey found that only 27 percent of Democrats now have a favorable view of the Communist Party, compared with 35 percent last year.

The article writes that Americans’ positive view of Communist China (CCP) has fallen to its lowest since the normalization of relations between the two countries in 1979.

The reason for the decline, the article analyzes, is easy to see that a series of misdeeds by Communist China over the past year, from the massive disinformation spread by the CCP about the origins of the virus to the growing evidence of the horrific abuses the CCP is inflicting on the Uighur Muslim minority and the harsh suppression of freedom and democracy for the people of Hong Kong, have caused extreme disenchantment with Communist China globally. Americans are no exception in this regard, and the data from the latest Gallup poll confirms this.

The Communist China Threat is a U.S. Priority to Address

In their article, Berman and Sobolik ask, But is the issue of the Chinese Communist Party really a priority to be addressed, as many are now arguing?

The article cites the results of another U.S. poll, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, which provides at least a partial answer to this question. The survey, released in early 2021, found that Republicans by a large margin (63 percent) view Communist China as a very critical geopolitical issue, as do more than half (53 percent) of independents. For Democrats, by contrast, geopolitical concerns about Communist China have been replaced by issues such as so-called racial and economic inequality. Even here, however, the trend is clear. Overall, the Communist China issue ranks third among the “seven critical threats” facing the United States today, ahead of international terrorism and global economic issues.

The U.S. government has a responsibility to confront and contain the Communist Party in accordance with public opinion.

Berman and Sobolik said these polling numbers should prompt administration officials to reassess their policies toward China based on past polls. For example, before joining the Biden administration as national security adviser, Jake Sullivan co-authored a report for the Carnegie Foundation in which he suggested that great power competition with Communist China “is not uppermost in the minds of most Coloradans, Nebraskans, Ohioans or Americans in general. of all.” Sullivan and his co-authors go on to speculate that when thinking of China, most voters think of unfair trade and investment practices and “are not inclined to treat China [the Communist Party of China] as a geopolitical competitor in U.S. foreign policy.”

Perhaps they were right at the Time, the article said. But recent polls show a fundamental shift in the Perception of American voters, whose positive view of Communist China has also been plummeting over the past year, not primarily because of Communist China’s economic penetration, but because of this global contagion (COVID-19) crisis. And importantly, Americans seem to be drawing their own conclusions about Beijing’s credibility. That’s why back in October of last year, a Pew Research Center survey found that 77 percent of Americans had no confidence that Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping would do the right thing in international affairs, up an alarming 50 percent from the previous year.

The Wall Street Journal analyzed that Americans’ skepticism of Biden’s China issues largely reflects their high level of distrust in Communist Party leader Xi Jinping, whom only 15 percent of Americans believe will “do the right thing” in global affairs.

In concluding their article, Berman and Sobolik suggest that these numbers should be profoundly instructive as President Biden and his foreign policy team begin to seriously shape their approach to China. They demonstrate that the current U.S. administration has a responsibility to pursue a significant set of national policies and strategies to confront and contain Communist China, in accordance with public opinion.