Updated Jun 22, 2018

Exclusive poll: Americans' fear of China spikes as North Korea fades

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Data: SurveyMonkey/Axios. Poll methodology; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

A year ago, nearly half of Americans considered North Korea the greatest immediate threat to the United States. Today, that number has plummeted and fear of China has increased — to the point where the two nations are essentially tied, according to a new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll.

Why it matters: Chinese President Xi Jinping has bluntly outlined his vision to take his country to superpower status by 2020, knocking out the U.S. in the process. And the two nations' recent clashes in trade, national security, and tech have made Americans fear China as much as a rogue nuclear power headed by a dynastic, autocratic leader.

Key takeaways:

  • Russia is the greatest perceived threat, and the share of Americans who believe so has risen in the last year.
  • Fear of ISIS remains consistently high despite the fact that the terrorist organization is rapidly losing territory in Iraq and Syria.

On the threats from China:

  • 62% of Americans are concerned by China's economic power, 51% by China's technological advancement, and 35% by its military strength.

The partisan breakdown:

  • 38% think President Trump's trade war with China will be good for jobs, and 58% think it will hurt jobs.
    • Republicans: 71% think good for jobs, 26% think bad for jobs
    • Democrats: 11% and 87%
    • Independents: 32% and 66%

Methodology: This Axios/SurveyMonkey online poll was conducted June 15-19 among 3,936 adults.  Respondents for these surveys were selected from the nearly 3 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. The modeled error estimate for the full sample is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over. The full breakdown by demographics is located here.

Go deeper: China is the greatest, growing threat to America

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Data: Online SurveyMonkey poll (Margin of error: ±2.5 percentage points). Chart: Axios Visuals

Ready to skip 2020 and go straight to 2024? In a SurveyMonkey poll for Axios, Republican voters chose children of President Trump — Don Jr. and Ivanka — as two of the top four picks for president in four years.

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The China challenge stumps the 2020 candidates

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Scott Eisen/Getty Images, Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, Naohiko Hatta - Pool/Getty Images, and Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

Most U.S. presidential candidates identify China as a serious national security challenge, but they're short on details as to how they'd tackle the economic, technological and human rights threats posed by the world’s largest authoritarian power.

Why it matters: The Chinese Communist Party is seeking to reshape the world in its own image and amass enough power to marginalize the United States and Western allies regardless of whether China is contending with President Trump for another four years — or one of his Democratic rivals.

We're entering a new golden age of China journalism

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A growing number of investigative journalists and news organizations around the world are investing more resources in covering China from afar.

Why it matters: The Chinese Communist Party claims China's rise offers the world an alternative to western leadership and values. In the coming decade, journalism is vital to understanding exactly what kind of global leader China will be.

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