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Global Politics

The State of U.S.-China Relations: H2 2023 Report

November 2023

Report summary

This report assesses the risks and opportunities facing multinationals, investors, asset managers and policymakers amid the persistently strained U.S.-China relationship, and leverages analysis of public sentiment among Democratic and Republican voters to forecast where relations are headed as America inches closer to the 2024 U.S. presidential election. It includes dedicated coverage of key commercial and regulatory issues affecting U.S. and Chinese multinationals, alongside analysis of cold war dynamics and the U.S. and Chinese publics’ interest in improving bilateral relations.

Key Takeaways

  • As China watchers and companies with business interests spanning the Pacific await the outcome of an anticipated meeting between Washington’s and Beijing’s respective presidents later this year, our data shows that public hostilities have diminished recently on both sides.
  • The share of Chinese adults who view the United States as an enemy or unfriendly has shrunk by 9 percentage points since April, while the equivalent U.S. share has declined 4 points.
  • But the softening of Chinese views is likely driven more by public anxiety over the country’s ailing economy than by a geopolitical about-face. And despite a recent uptick in dovish sentiment in some other areas among U.S. Democrats, our view is that the potential for a significant near-term détente remains limited, particularly with the U.S presidential election looming in 2024.
  • Beyond next year, we expect bilateral relations to suffer in the service of domestic political interests if Republicans see major gains in Congress or take back the presidency.

Data Downloads

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Trended Data File
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This report relies on data collected through Morning Consult’s proprietary survey research capabilities. Unless otherwise indicated, data derives from a series of monthly surveys conducted Feb. 11, 2022, to Oct. 6, 2023, in the United States and Feb. 11, 2022, to Oct. 7, 2023, in China among representative samples of roughly 1,000 adults in each country, with unweighted margins of error of +/-3 percentage points. All interviews are conducted online.

Additional data derives from stand-alone surveys fielded throughout the year in the United States and China. Sample sizes and margins of error are indicated in the methodology statements accompanying each chart.

Editor’s note: This report has been updated to apply correct color-coding to charts on pages 14 and 22.

About the author

A headshot photograph of Scott Moskowitz
Scott Moskowitz
Senior Analyst, APAC

Scott Moskowitz is senior analyst for the Asia-Pacific region at Morning Consult, where he leads geopolitical analysis of China and broader regional issues. Scott holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University and has years of experience working in and conducting Mandarin-language research on China, with an emphasis on the politics of economic development and consumerism. Follow him on Twitter @ScottyMoskowitz. Interested in connecting with Scott to discuss his analysis or for a media engagement or speaking opportunity? Email [email protected].