Three-Quarters of Americans Blame Beijing for Global Spread of CCP Virus: Pew Survey

Three-Quarters of Americans Blame Beijing for Global Spread of CCP Virus: Pew Survey
Paramilitary police officers wear face masks and goggles as they stand guard at an entrance to the closed Xinfadi market in Beijing on June 13, 2020. (Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images)
Cathy He
More than three-quarters of Americans blame the Chinese regime for the global spread of the CCP Virus, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center, which also found that unfavorable U.S. views of China reached historic highs.

Asked about the disease’s global spread, seventy-eight percent of respondents to a July poll said that they placed a great deal, or a fair amount, of the blame on the Chinese regime’s initial handling of the outbreak. Half of the respondents thought that Washington should hold Beijing responsible for this even if it means worsening relations with the country.

Around three-quarters (73 percent) said the United States should try to promote human rights in China, even if it harms economic ties.

Meanwhile, perceptions of China also continued to sour, with 73 percent of respondents holding unfavorable opinions of the regime, up seven percent since the previous poll in March, and 26 points since 2018.

The results, from a survey of 1,003 Americans conducted between June 16 to July 14, came as the Trump administration dials up efforts to confront Beijing, including on the regime’s coverup of the CCP Virus outbreak, human rights abuses in the region of Xinjiang and Hong Kong, theft of American technology, and military aggression in the South China Sea.

Around two-thirds of Americans (63 percent) said the Chinese regime has done a bad job in dealing with the CCP Virus.

Americans’ faith in Chinese leader Xi Jinping doing the right thing in world affairs also continued to fall, with more than three-quarters (77 percent) saying they had little or no confidence in him—an increase of 27 points from last year.

Several U.S. lawmakers have introduced measures to hold the Chinese regime accountable for causing the pandemic, including proposing sanctions and removing legal protections in order to allow Americans to sue China in U.S. courts.

Washington last week ordered the Chinese consulate in Houston to close, accusing it of espionage. Earlier this month, it also sanctioned several Chinese officials over their roles in suppressing Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, and ended Hong Kong’s special privileges with the United States in response to Beijing’s tightening control over the city.

Cathy He is the politics editor at the Washington D.C. bureau. She was previously an editor for U.S.-China and a reporter covering U.S.-China relations.
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