Americans, especially young Americans, support building economic ties with China.

About half of Americans supported tighter economic relations with China, while 41 percent say it’s important to get tougher with China, according to recent data based on a Pew Research Center poll. The poll reached 3,337 adults in February.

The opinions were flip-flopped two years ago, when nearly half of Americans said it was important to get tougher with China in 2012 versus 42 percent who supported stronger ties. In 2011, the results aligned more with the present. About 53 percent of Americans favored stronger economic ties with China, while 40 percent supported a firmer approach.

Responses also varied by political affiliation. At 57 percent, Democrats were most inclined to support stronger economic ties followed by Independents (54 percent) and Republicans (40 percent). Conservative Republicans were most likely to support a tougher approach to China on economic issues, while liberal Democrats were the least.

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Feb. 15, 201200:00