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Global Politics

The State of U.S.-China Relations: H2 2022 Report

December 2022

Report summary

For more recent data and analysis, see The State of U.S.-China Relations Report for 2023.

This report weighs in on 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 after the 2022 U.S. midterm elections.

Key Takeaways

  • Mutual mistrust is the sole point of agreement. While Chinese enmity toward the United States has softened over the last six months, U.S. views of China have hardened, such that the two countries are now roughly aligned: Around two-thirds of adults in both countries see the other side as an enemy or unfriendly.
  • Attitudes toward bilateral investment are hardening. Over two-thirds of Americans support at least some restrictions on Chinese businesses operating in the United States, while nearly a fifth support an outright ban on all commercial operations, notching a 4 percentage point gain over the past six months.
  • A near majority of U.S. adults (45%) say they favor maintaining existing tariffs on China even if reducing them would relieve inflationary pressures, with the overall share rising over the last six months among both Democrats and Republicans.
  • U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan in August 2022 has inflamed sentiment across a number of issues. Beijing’s militant response to the visit saw a spike in Chinese fears of escalating military tensions, while the share of U.S. adults, and especially Democrats, who cite Taiwan as the most important bilateral issue to address has trended upward.
  • Intellectual property theft by Chinese companies animates Republicans above all. While Taiwan has been at the center of headlines since August, Republicans are substantially more concerned about intellectual property theft: Half of them view the issue as “very important” to address, compared with 42% who feel the same about Taiwan relations.


This report relies on data collected through Morning Consult’s proprietary survey research capabilities. Interviews are conducted online. Unless otherwise indicated, data derives from a series of monthly surveys conducted Feb. 11-Nov. 2, 2022, in the United States and Feb. 11-Nov. 6, 2022, in China, among representative samples of roughly 1,000 adults in each country, with unweighted margins of error of +/-3 percentage points.The remaining 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 slide.

About the authors

A headshot photograph of Jason McMann
Jason McMann
Head of Political Intelligence

Jason I. McMann leads geopolitical risk analysis at Morning Consult. He leverages the company’s high-frequency survey data to advise clients on how to integrate geopolitical risk into their decision-making. Jason previously served as head of analytics at GeoQuant (now part of Fitch Solutions). He holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University’s Politics Department. Follow him on Twitter @jimcmann. Interested in connecting with Jason to discuss his analysis or for a media engagement or speaking opportunity? Email [email protected].

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].