68% Of Americans Open To China Despite Recent Trade Escalations

China-U.S. trade talks October
China's Vice Premier Liu He gestures to the media between U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (L) and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin before the two countries' trade negotiations in Washington, U.S., October 10, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

A new survey by the Chicago Council of Global Affairs discovered that most Americans are still open to friendly and bilateral ties with China, despite Washington seemingly stating otherwise in moves earlier this week that escalated trade tensions.

According to the South China Morning Post, Senior Public Opinion and Foreign Policy Fellow at the Chicago Council of Global Affairs, Dina Smeltz, noted that the surveying group was expecting a more "fearful" reaction.

On the contrary, 68 percent of the respondents indicated that they welcome good ties with China. Smeltz said that "Americans are quite pragmatic toward China," adding that the masses believe trade is significant despite tariff issues.

The survey accounted for the responses of 2,000 adults in 50 different states in the world's largest economy. The council pointed out that this year's results were largely consistent with previous surveys indicating that many Americans are in favor of friendly ties with the Chinese.

Analysts said the survey results suggest Washington's views aren't always consistent with what the American masses really want to say or how they really feel. It also indicates that most U.S. citizens are still supportive of a trade deal despite the latest escalations.

The survey's authors further argued that while some American respondents indicated a decline in positive views of China, the masses "have not fully closed the door" towards bilateral cooperation.

Furthermore, the authors said China's ascent into economic power, for most American's isn't something that poses a "critical threat" to the economic prowess of the United States as a whole.

The news came amid ongoing trade talks between China and the U.S. in Washington, D.C. U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he will join the second day of negotiations.

Trump also said shortly after the first day of discussions that talks progressed "very well," raising hopes for a potential trade deal that could end the months-long dispute. The trade war has shaken up global markets and highly affected the Chinese and American economies.

Bloomberg reported that while both sides have indicated willingness to end this week's talks with a partial deal, the U.S. chief has insisted that he wants a complete agreement that the two countries will rely on for further bilateral cooperation.

Akin Gump partner, Clete Williams, who also served as a trade adviser to the U.S. president in the past, noted that Trump's presence on Friday's discussions "is significant." Williams noted that in the past, he noticed how the president's "direct involvement" helped in positive progression.

A new round of tariffs is set to be imposed on Chinese goods on October 15. Analysts are hoping that this week's talks will halt the process.

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