The Great Chasm: China's Defense Strategy and United States Public Opinion
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China represents one of the most pressing modern threats to the United States’ national security. This threat is best characterized by the opacity of China’s defense strategy, increasing uncertainty surrounding its intentions. While existing literature expounds global perceptions of China and determinants of public opinion, there is a gap when it comes to the nature of the relationship between China’s defense strategy and United States public opinion – one that has significant implications for United States policymaking and national security. Using sentiment analysis and topic modeling of China’s national defense white papers, this research examines (1) the tone and (2) the contents of China’s defense strategy as each relates to United States public opinion of China. The findings show no statistically significant relationship between either facet of China’s strategy and American public opinion, mitigating the risk posed by China’s influence campaign to the United States’ national interests.