The next president of China Xi Jinping is visiting Iowa today, but he should not expect a warm reception from millennials.
According to a new poll, the overwhelming majority of young people (age 18-29) view the Chinese government as an economic or military threat. According to the poll commissioned by Generation Opportunity, 76 percent of young Americans view China as either an economic or military threat, 62 percent believe the top American national security issue is the U.S. debt, and over 70 percent are deeply concerned with America's deficit.
Millennials strongly believe that America is an exceptional nation, but they also believe that our growing indebtedness to foreign countries like communist China and our dependency on foreign oil poses our gravest national security threat. According to the poll, 56 percent agree with "American Exceptionalism" described as an ideal of freedom and democracy unique to the U.S. The top three greatest threats to American national security are: national debt (62 percent); energy dependence (61 percent); and indebtedness to foreign powers (50 percent).
The threat of terrorism has fallen as the fourth major national security concern (only 39 percent).
Paul T. Conway, president of Generation Opportunity, suggested young people's opposition to China may stem from the Chinese government's poor human rights record. "It is hard for Americans, especially young adults, to be impressed by foreign leaders who deny their citizens the basic human freedoms of speech and religious expression, especially in the age of social media and global commerce.”
On human rights, the Obama administration's China policies have yet to lead to an approvement in Chinese practices. Vice President Joe Biden met last week with advocates for human rights in China, and the White House issued a statement acknowledging the "deterioration of China’s human rights situation.” Chinese government crackdowns have intensified against intellectuals and dissidents.
Protesters chanted "Xi is a liar "outside the White House Tuesday as President Obama and Vice President Biden met with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping.
Weigh in: Do you view the Chinese government as an economic or military threat? If so, why? What are the biggest national security issues the U.S. faces?
Photo Credit: Glyn Lowe Photos