A new Gallup poll shows that China's favorability rating among Americans dropped to a record low of 20 percent, a 13-percentage point drop from last year.
China is known around the country for perpetuating genocide against the Uyghurs and for targeting the United States with information and economic warfare so the low rating didn't exactly come as a surprise.
Last year's 33 percent favorability rating was tied with the 1997 and 2000 readings as the second-lowest on record dating back to 1979. The third lowest was the 34 percent favorability rating in August 1989 following the Chinese government's crackdown on protestors in Tiananmen Square.
Partisan ratings of China have declined from last year. This year's poll showed that only 10 percent of Republicans, 22 percent of independents and 27 percent of Democrats have a favorable opinion of China. The numbers marked a downward shift of 13, 17 and eight points, respectively.
The latest ratings were recorded mostly after President Joe Biden announced on Feb. 7 that he is prepared to compete with China, but that his approach would be different from his predecessor's.
The findings coincide with the reports of increased hate crimes against Asian Americans across the country. Hate-fueled attacks on Asian Americans spiked across major U.S. cities last year. The alarming trend has continued into this year, experts say.According to reports, there were 122 incidents of anti-Asian American hate crimes in 16 of the country's most populous cities in 2020 – an increase of almost 150 percent over the previous year. (Related: New Yorkers protest ‘white supremacy' over rising trend of black-on-Asian violence.) Biden hopes to resolve the issue by signing a memorandum condemning the surge of anti-Asian racism in the country during the coronavirus pandemic. He is also directing the Department of Justice to make more concerted efforts to address hate crimes and harassment against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. "During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, inflammatory and xenophobic rhetoric has put Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) persons, families, communities and businesses at risk," the memorandum said. The memorandum was part of a series of executive orders regarding racial equity and civil rights signed by Biden. "The federal government must recognize that it has played a role in furthering these xenophobic sentiments through the actions of political leaders, including references to the COVID-19 pandemic by the geographic location of its origin," the memorandum said. "Such statements have stoked unfounded fears and perpetuated stigma about Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and have contributed to increasing rates of bullying, harassment and hate crimes against AAPI persons." According to the memorandum, the pandemic response from federal health authorities should demonstrate "cultural competency, language access, and sensitivity towards AAPIs."
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