Nearly 4-in-10 Americans say Biden is weak on China, new Insider poll shows

  • 36% of respondents in a new Insider poll say Biden is weak on China.
  • The poll found that 33% of respondents feel Biden’s stance on China is “about right.”
  • Biden has faced criticism from Republicans who accuse him of being weak on Beijing.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Almost four-in-10 respondents (36%) in a new Insider poll said that President Joe Biden’s policy toward China is weak or too weak.

Poll participants were asked: How do you feel about the Biden administration’s stance toward China?

Here’s a breakdown of the poll’s findings on how America’s feel about Biden’s China policy: 

  • Close to 5% said “it’s too tough.”
  • Nearly 9% said “it’s tough.”
  • About 33% said “it’s about right.”
  • 14% said “it’s weak.”
  • 22% said “it’s too weak.”
  • Almost 17% said “I don’t know.”

There poll found a significant disparity in how respondents answered the question based on their apparent political affiliation. 

Of the respondents who said they were likely to vote in their state’s Democratic primary or caucus, for example, a majority (roughly 55%) said Biden’s stance on China is “about right.” A little less than 15% of this cohort said Biden’s China policy is “weak” or “too weak.”

Comparatively, roughly 46% of respondents who said they were likely to vote in their state’s Republican primary or caucus said that Biden’s China policy is “too weak.”

Since his presidential campaign, Republicans and right-wing pundits have repeatedly accused Biden of being too soft on China. But the president’s policies toward Beijing have not shifted drastically from those seen under President Donald Trump. Biden, for example, has not gotten rid of Trump era tariffs on China that were at the center of a controversial trade war. 

The Biden administration has made challenging China’s ever-expanding global influence a top priority, also zeroing in on human rights abuses in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong.

“Competition with China is going to be stiff,” Biden said during the Munich Security Conference last week, calling for the US and Europe to “push back against the Chinese government’s economic abuses and coercion.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that Trump was correct to take tough stance with China, but has questioned the former president’s methods.

Meanwhile, some progressives in Congress have warned Biden against getting sucked into a new Cold War with China as Republicans seek to portray him as weak toward Beijing. 

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weight its sample based on race or income. Polling data collected 1,154 respondents February 22, 2021 with a 3 percentage point margin of error.

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