AnalysisThought leaders think climate change is the most important area to seek cooperation with China.
When asked to select promising areas for increased U.S.-China cooperation, the first choice among American thought leaders overall is addressing climate change (37% of "first choice" responses), followed by global health (14%) and student/scholarly exchange (11%). However, some focus group discussion participants pointed out that cooperation on an issue such as climate change could include student and scholarly exchange and that these are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
|First Choice||Second Choice||Third Choice|
|Addressing climate change||36.82%||20.19%||12.65%|
|Countering proliferation by North Korea||9.09%||10.46%||13.38%|
|Updating the rules related to global economic governance||5.91%||5.84%||8.52%|
|Global infrastructure development||5.45%||5.35%||8.76%|
|Advancing scientific knowledge and technological innovation||2.95%||7.06%||6.33%|
|Investment in the U.S. economy||0.91%||0.97%||0.97%|
|Exploration in space||0.23%||1.22%||1.46%|
By the Numbers
of U.S. thought leaders believe climate change is the most promising area for U.S.-China cooperation.
of U.S. thought leaders believe global health is the most promising area for U.S.-China cooperation.
The 2020 Chicago Council survey suggests the American public agrees on the potential to cooperate with China on climate change, favors a restrictive approach to scientific research, and is somewhat divided on whether to promote student exchange. Overall, 72% want to work with China on climate change, 50% support restricting scientific research, and 45% support limiting the number of Chinese international students in the United States. Across the political spectrum, 65% of Republicans support reducing the number of Chinese students studying in the United States, compared to 44% of independents and 32% of Democrats.