"Red China" and the "yellow peril": How ideology divides Americans over China

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Based on a 2011 national survey, I argue that while US conservatives feel somewhat cooler toward the East Asian democracies than US liberals do, they feel much cooler toward China. Greater average conservative than liberal prejudice lingers, cooling attitudes toward the "Yellow Peril" of all Asian countries, but communism is a larger source of ideological differences over China. For cultural, social, economic, and political reasons, conservatives feel substantially cooler than liberals toward both communist countries in general and "Red China" in particular. I conclude by suggesting that with gerrymandering and ongoing ideological sorting, these ideological differences over China on Main Street may come to play a greater role in the making of US China policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-346
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of East Asian Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014


  • "Red China"
  • "Yellow peril"
  • Communism
  • Conservative
  • Ideology
  • Liberal
  • Libertarianism
  • Social dominance
  • US-China relations


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