New survey of Chinese and Americans shows deep mistrust, but also shared opinions

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A new study suggests that while citizens of China and the United States are skeptical of each other, they also have dubbed their relationship "the most important in the world."

We don’t know each other. We don’t trust each other. But, according to a new opinion survey, we need each other.

Those are just a few of the conclusions released in a study out of the Committee of 100, a nonpartisan group of Chinese-American leaders founded 30 years ago by architect I.M. Pei.

About 4,000 people in China and 1,400 Americans took part. They seem to have one major thing in common.

More than half the Americans questioned say China cannot be trusted — and an equal number of Chinese say the same thing about the United States.

Distrust can often come from poor information, and in both nations over 50 percent say the other country’s media doesn’t show an accurate picture of its counterpart.

Even so, a majority of both peoples believe the relationship between China and the U.S. is the most important partnership in the world. And while there are concerns about intellectual property, deficits, and corruption, both sides agree that our trade ties benefit everybody.

The Committee of 100 is holding its annual conference Thursday in Pasadena.

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