Story highlights A new CNN poll finds more Americans view China as the top threat to global peace than any other country
81% of Americans see the Middle East as the primary threat, while Iran ranked a distant second
Gauging the global threat perceived by Americans
China might be a rising power, but it doesn’t see things that way.
A new CNN poll finds more Americans view China as the top threat to global peace than any other country — 57% of those polled to be exact.
That follows from a separate Quinnipiac University poll from May that found that 62% of Americans viewed China as the biggest threat to global peace.
However, when American and Chinese leaders met last week in Beijing, the nation in the No. 1 spot for global issues didn’t look as preoccupied with countries across the planet as much as Americans thought it would.
The CNN poll revealed that most Americans — 78% — think the Middle East is the primary threat to global peace. That echoes the Quinnipiac survey from May, which found 81% of Americans think the Middle East is the most dangerous place on Earth. Iran ranked a distant second at 13%.
Perhaps things have changed over the years. While previous polls have found Americans much more worried about North Korea, that percentage dropped significantly in the CNN poll from an already low 9% in May to just 5% in July. The poll did note that 4% of Americans think America is the most dangerous place on Earth, while Greece, Canada and Russia are the least dangerous.
Still, there is a long way to go before the United States is considered peaceful. After all, the CNN poll shows 2% of Americans, or 3% of adults, don’t see any threats, with the top threat facing America being corruption (at 14%). Still, there was a drop from June’s 7% view of corruption as the most threatening to American well-being.
Perhaps the most worrisome part of these poll results? Americans think the situation in the Middle East, where rising tensions between the U.S. and many regional powers has many worried, is even worse than it has been in the past — a significantly more grim outlook than the one that held true in May. That 58% of Americans say the situation in the Middle East is getting worse now, compared to 28% who think it’s getting better.
Ultimately, Americans are expressing increasing fears about events taking place across the globe — and that doesn’t bode well for what may come down the road.
Find the full results of the CNN poll here.