Although Donald Trump anticipates a “very difficult” meeting with Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago this week, 44% of Americans have gained positive views of China, according to a recent survey.
That figure is up from 37% in 2016, but China’s unfavorability has dropped from 55% to 47% over the past year, according to Shanghaiist, citing a Pew Research Center survey that was released on Tuesday.
The change of attitude toward China seems to stem from the fact that Americans have suddenly become less concerned about the $1 trillion U.S. debt held by China, the supposed loss of jobs, and the trade deficit — the three main issues Trump has repeatedly used during his election campaign to bash the country.
However, older Americans tend to express a more negative attitude toward China, with 71% of Republicans feel that losing jobs to China is a huge problem for the U.S., compared with 47% of Democrats.
On the topic of China’s impact on the environment, 63% of Democrats consider it to be a major concern, compared with just 44% of Republicans.
But overall, Americans are more worried about China’s economy rather than its military power, with 58% of respondents saying that the U.S. should use force to offer support to any Asian ally against Beijing in the event that a military conflict occurs.
In a 2016 Pew Global survey, people in China saw the U.S. as a the top threat to their country, instead of climate change, Russia and ISIS.
On the other hand, 60% of Americans do not have too much confidence in President Xi when it comes to handling world affairs, but at least 31% do.
In another Pew Research Center poll, negative attitudes toward North Korea are shared across demographic groups, with 78% of Americans holding an unfavorable view of the communist nation ruled by Kim Jong Un.