More than half of Americans disapprove of US President Barack Obama’s handling of China, a new survey from the Pew Research Centre has shown.
According to the findings released on Wednesday, about 52 per cent of Americans feel dissatisfied with how Obama is dealing with China, compared with 30 per cent who believe his policies are satisfactory.
The figures come amid a period of heightened tension between the US and China following Beijing’s decision to create an Air Defence Identification Zone over large parts of the East China Sea.
The waters have become a potential flashpoint in recent years as China and the US ally’s Japan vie for control over an archipelago of islets that are administered by Japan but claimed by China. US Vice-President Joe Biden is currently in Beijing in a bid to defuse tensions between the two East Asian nations.
A Pew study in October found that China is increasingly seen as an emerging superpower.
Between 2008 and this year, the number of Americans who view China as the world’s preeminent economic power has grown from 30 per cent to 48 per cent, the latest survey showed.
However, most Americans (68 per cent) still recognise the US’s continued military dominance. Only 14 per cent of those polled believe that China has overtaken the US in terms of military strength.
Similarly, the American public is far from unanimous on whether the rise of China presents a problem for the US.
Of those polled, 28 per cent said China was not much of a problem, while 43 per cent said that China was a serious problem, but not an adversary. Just over one in five Americans view China as an adversary, the findings showed.