By 53% to 8%, Americans think China's treatment of the Uyghur people is a human-rights violation

Taylor OrthDirector of Survey Data Journalism
September 08, 2022, 5:37 PM GMT+0

Many Americans are concerned about China's involvement in what they see as human-rights abuses, and many are aware of at least some of the dilemmas facing the U.S. involving China, according to new polling by the Economist and YouGov.

China’s behavior towards Taiwan, is the top focus of Americans regarding China, following visits to the island nation by major U.S. political leaders. More than one in three Americans, 36%, say they've heard a lot about relations between China and Taiwan, more than have been paying a lot of attention to new COVID lockdowns in China (25%), China-Russia-Iran cooperation (22%), relations between China and Hong Kong (19%), or the treatment of Uyghur people by the Chinese government (19%).

Many Americans believe the Chinese government has committed human-rights abuses, and only 14% believe that people who wish to express dissent in China are able to do so freely, without pushback from the Chinese government. A majority (53%) say that China’s treatment of the Uyghur people is a human-rights violation, something the United Nations recently reported may have happened (just 12% of Americans have heard a lot about that report; half say they have heard nothing). At least two in five also believe China has committed human-rights violations in its treatment of people in each of the following: Hong Kong (41%), COVID-19 lockdowns (41%), and Taiwan (40%). And 71% of Americans say China has committed human-rights violations toward at least one of these groups of people.

This poll was conducted on September 3 - 6, 2022 among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens. Explore more on the methodology and data for this Economist/YouGov poll.

Image: Getty (Pool)