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Poll: One Fifth Of Americans Now See China As Nation’s Greatest Enemy

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U.S. President Barack Obama listens as Chinese President Hu Jintao speaks during a state arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

U.S. President Barack Obama listens as Chinese President Hu Jintao speaks during a state arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – A recent Gallup Poll suggests that most Americans now view China as the greatest enemy of the United States.

Those involved in the study found that a fifth of all people in United States view China in such a fashion.

Previously, most Americans viewed Iran that way – in 2012, as much as 32 percent of the nation expressed such notions to Gallup. So far this year, just 16 percent continued to view Iran as the greatest enemy of America.

North Korea, Russia and Iraq were also given as frequent answers by the 1,023 randomly selected American adults who participated in the study.

“The drop in mentions of Iran as the greatest enemy in this year’s poll has been accompanied by increases in the percentages mentioning North Korea (from 10 percent in 2012 to 16 percent), Russia (from 2 percent to 9 percent), and Syria (from less than 1 percent to 3 percent),” a press release on the poll’s findings indicated. “The percentage mentioning China, however, has stayed virtually the same.”

The release continued: “Thus, China now tops the list mainly because Americans’ views on the nation’s enemies are more divided among several countries rather than focused on one dominant country, as in recent years.”

Gallup began to monitor American sentiments on the matter in 2001. Researchers have found that people throughout the United States are sensitive to international developments, and that their opinions on the nation’s greatest enemy have changed in keeping with them.

“Americans’ perceptions of the United States’ greatest enemy have varied over time, usually in response to developments on the world stage. As such, the sharp drop in their likelihood of naming Iran as the United States’ top enemy is probably tied to Iran’s continued willingness to agree to international limitations on its nuclear capabilities,” those involved in the study indicated in the release.

They added: “Americans in general view China much more positively than Iran, though on balance, still negatively. They may regard China’s emerging economic power to be as threatening, if not more so, than the potential military threats from Iran and North Korea.”

The poll was conducted between Feb. 6 and Feb. 9 of this year.

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