• China threat;
  • U.S.-China relations;
  • U.S. soft power

This study investigates the impact of U.S. “soft power” in the international system. Specifically, it examines how American soft power affects individuals' perceptions of the “China threat.” Based on the theoretical model developed by Rousseau (2006), the present research considers how citizens develop their perceptions of China in relation to the United States. Multilevel analyses relying on the Pew Global Attitudes Project 2007 verify the view highlighting the compatibility of these two states in the international system. The analyses find that the diffusion of U.S. soft power in each state significantly reduces the urgency of the China threat. Implications from this study contribute to our understanding of U.S-China relations in rapidly changing international environments.