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Invisible Anxiety: Would the Rise of China Really Be a Security Threat to the United States?


  • The author gratefully acknowledges Dr. James D. Rae and Dr. Thomas E. Lambert, and also appreciates the thoughtful comments of the anonymous reviewers for this paper.


This paper investigates diverse public opinion on the rise of the People's Republic of China through a survey conducted in the tri-state region of Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. In the midst of a global financial crisis, China's financial support to the US economy, as well as its recent modernization of the People's Liberation Army, echoed a serious public anxiety over a potential military and economic security threat to the United States. Will the rise of China create a military as well as an economic security threat to the United States? Is there anticipation that the continuing rapid economic growth in China will overtake the US economy within three decades? Will its successful economic growth lead China to democratization? Introducing scholarly debates on these research questions, the research in this paper examines important empirical research results on the issue.