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70% in US see China as economic threat

A clear majority of Americans see China as an economic threat, a poll showed, as Barack Obama sought to bolster relations on his first trip to Beijing and Shanghai as president.

world Updated: Nov 17, 2009 13:24 IST

A clear majority of Americans see China as an economic threat, a poll showed, as Barack Obama sought to bolster relations on his first trip to Beijing and Shanghai as president.

More than 70 per cent of those questioned in the CNN poll said they considered the Asian giant to be an economic threat, while only 28 per cent disagreed with the notion.

Two-thirds of those surveyed said they saw China as a source of unfair competition for American companies, while only a quarter viewed China positively as a huge potential market for US goods.

"That may be why 71 per cent of Americans consider China an economic threat to the US," said CNN polling director Keating Holland. "Americans tend to view foreign countries as competition, and China is no exception."

Trade tensions between the powers have intensified in recent months, with both sides taking action against the other's imports.

Obama ignited the first major trade spat of his presidency when he imposed punitive duties on Chinese-made tires in September.

An angry Beijing lodged a complaint at the World Trade Organization and retaliated by launching a probe into possible unfair trade practices involving imports of US car products and chicken meat.