Reuters/Ipsos Poll: Americans support military preparedness against possible threat from China

Nearly half of Americans would like to see TikTok banned from use in the United States.

The author(s)
  • Annaleise Azevedo Lohr Director, US, Public Affairs
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, August 17, 2023 – The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll explores Americans’ perceptions on U.S. relations with China and other countries. The poll shows that Americans hold unfavorable views of China, but view Russia, North Korea, and Iran even less favorably. One-third of Americans view China as an imminent threat – the same proportion view Russia the same way – and two in five Americans say that it is likely that America will go to war with China in the next five years. The survey also shows that Americans have complicated views about China economically. Many say China has had a negative impact on the United States’ economically, but two in five say that the U.S. benefits from doing business with China. Americans would also like to see the U.S. do more to prepare for military threats from China and are more likely to support a presidential candidate who supports implementing more tariffs on Chinese imports.  

Detailed Findings

Overall, most Americans view China unfavorably (75%), but North Korea (88%), Russia (86%) or Iran (82%) are viewed even less favorably. In comparison, just 15% of Americans view the United Kingdom unfavorably. Two-thirds of Americans say the U.S. needs to do more to prepare for military threats from China (66%), including 81% of Republicans, 64% of independents, and 58% of Democrats. About two in five say that direct military conflict with China in the next five years is likely (43%), with Republicans being more likely to say this (58%) than Democrats (36%) or independents (35%). Half of Americans support aiding Taiwan with military equipment to help Taiwan deter an attack from China (50%), including 56% of Democrats, 51% of independents, and 48% of Republicans. But Americans are split on whether they support deploying U.S. troops to defend Taiwan from a military attack by China (38% support, 42% oppose, and 20% don’t know).  

US China relations

Nearly half of Americans support banning the social media app TikTok from being used in the United States (47%), including 47% of Democrats and 58% of Republicans. Three in five Americans say that China is gaining an economic advantage over the United States by spying on Americans companies (60%) and 56% say China is gaining a military advantage over the United State by spying on the U.S. government.  

Most Americans (67%) say that China has had a negative impact on the health of America’s economy, but 45% agree that doing business with China is good for the U.S. economy and 43% say doing business with China has improved their life by offering lower prices on consumer goods. Three in five Americans say they are more likely to support a presidential candidate who supports additional tariffs on Chinese imports (66%), including 59% of Democrats, 63% of independents, and 78% of Republicans. Three in four Americans (75%) report they are more likely to support a presidential candidate who supports strengthening relationships with other trade partners at the expense of trade with China.  


Candidate Stance on China 2024

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between August 14-15, 2023 on behalf of Thomson Reuters. For this survey, a sample of 1,005 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The sample also includes 443 Democrats, 346 Republicans, and 137 independents.

The sample was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel, partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2022 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, education and political party affiliation.

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online non-probability polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=1,005, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/-5.3 percentage points).

The poll also has a credibility interval of plus or minus 5.7 percentage points for Democrats, plus or minus 6.5 percentage points for Republicans, and plus or minus 10.3 percentage points for independents.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Chris Jackson
Senior Vice President, U.S.
Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2025
[email protected]

Annaleise Lohr
Director, U.S.
Public Affairs
[email protected]

About Ipsos

Ipsos is one of the largest market research and polling companies globally, operating in 90 markets and employing over 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. Our 75 solutions are based on primary data from our surveys, social media monitoring, and qualitative or observational techniques.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

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The author(s)
  • Annaleise Azevedo Lohr Director, US, Public Affairs
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs