Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-1-2024

Faculty Advisor(s)

Ann Gordon


The United States and China are the world’s two greatest economic rivals. The US-China trade war–which started in 2018–is a result of this battle for economic hegemony and has raged on for the past six years. While trade decisions are ultimately up to policymakers, public opinion is a large factor in international policy decisions, and American biases against the Chinese may adversely affect both the American and Chinese economies. In this paper, I will examine how factors including media consumption and partisanship impact American attitudes towards China’s economy overtaking the United States’ economy. Previous research has studied the effects of media consumption on US attitudes towards China as a whole–particularly towards China overtaking the US’s hegemony. Though there is existing literature on the effects of media usage on US attitudes toward the US-China trade war, more research needs to be done on how media consumption impacts attitudes toward China’s economy and how these effects differ amongst individuals from different political parties.

Relying on the Chapman Fear Survey from 2023, I found that higher consumption of conservative television like Fox News is correlated with increased fear of China’s political and economic power. Furthermore, Republicans and Independents who watch Fox News are more likely to be afraid of China’s economic power than Republicans and Independents who do not watch Fox News. Few strong Democrats consume conservative news sources, and overall Democrats are less likely to be afraid of China’s economic power. Although the United States has claimed economic hegemony, Chinese-American trade is a vital component of US economic success–not to mention global economic growth. Unnecessary fear of China’s economic growth promoted by the media may dangerously escalate international tensions in a world in which US interests are interlocked with China's.


Presented at the Spring 2024 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.