Two-thirds of the American public and a sample of U.S. opinion leaders said they consider China either friendly or an ally of the United States, results of the Gallup-China Daily USA poll indicated.
About one in four of each group said they thought China was unfriendly or an enemy, the Princeton, N.J., polling agency said.
Results were released as China's presumptive next president, Vice President Xi Jinping, was in the United States to meet with President Obama to discuss U.S.-China relations, and issues of regional and global scope.
Despite positive perceptions about U.S.-China relations, the American public is as likely to have an unfavorable opinion of China as having a favorable one, Gallup said. Forty-two percent indicated they have a favorable opinion of China while 44 percent said they hold an unfavorable opinion. Of the opinion leaders surveyed, 49 percent said they have a favorable opinion of China while 40 percent said they have an unfavorable opinion.
Americans and U.S. opinion leaders said they generally wanted to see more cooperation between the United States and China on economic and energy, cultural, education, and scientific matters, and political and diplomatic issues, Gallup said.
Results indicated respondents are more likely to agree than disagree that China will eventually replace the United States as the world's leading power.
Results of the poll are based on nationwide interviews with 2,007 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 30-Dec. 18. The margin of error is 2.68 percentage points.