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Poll: Tensions Between Americans, Chinese On The Rise

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President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping (then Vice President) speak during meetings in the Oval Office of the White House on February 14, 2012. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping (then Vice President) speak during meetings in the Oval Office of the White House on February 14, 2012. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) – President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping later this week in what will be their first encounter since Xi assumed the role in March.

As they prepare for two days of private meetings that will cover a variety of topics, citizens of both nations have expressed unfavorable opinions of one another, according to the latest Pew Research Center poll.

A reported 52 percent of Americans said they view China in a negative way, according to a release on the survey’s results.

“[J]ust 37% express a favorable view,” researchers additionally noted.

Chinese participants in the study gave Americans a similarly poor review as 53 percent said they feel negatively toward America, while only 40 percent rated the United States positively.

Both figures indicate marked increases in negative sentiments between the two nations. Charts included in the release indicate that  only 40 percent of Americans gave China and unfavorable rating in 2012, and 48 percent of Chinese persons reciprocated the feeling last years.

Researchers also noted, “In 2011, the balance of opinion was just the opposite – 51 percent held a favorable opinion, while just 36 percent gave China an unfavorable rating.”

Alleged high-tech spying from inside China will top the agenda when Obama sits down this weekend in California with Xi, but other topics including Syria and China’s record on human rights also will be discussed, senior Obama administration officials speaking on the condition of anonymity said Tuesday.

The civil war in Syria is another likely topic for discussion, though China is seen as having less influence on that issue than Russia, because of Russia’s steadfast support of Syrian President Bashar Assad, including its supplying weapons to the Assad government.

However, despite those issues reportedly figuring big in the President’s agenda for his meeting with Xi, Americans participating in the survey cited the continual rising economic clout of China as a main point of concern, especially in regards to job security and retention.

“A 2012 Pew Research Center poll found majorities of Americans said it was a very serious problem to have the loss of U.S. jobs to China,” the release stated. “[Americans also cited] the large U.S. debt held by China … and the U.S. trade deficit with China.”

For their most recent study, researchers with Pew spoke with a random sampling of 1,002 American adults and 3,226 Chinese adults, all of whom were polled over the phone or in person, respectively.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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