A recent Pew survey reveals that a majority or plurality of respondents in 23 out of 39 countries where the poll was conducted believe that China has already displaced the US as the world’s leading economic power or will do so in the future.
In the United States, 47% believe that China will one day occupy the top spot, the highest percentage of Americans to say so since Pew first asked the question back in 2008. 66% of Chinese respondents believe their country will inevitably surpass the United States if it has not already.
More people overall still identify the US as the world’s leading economic power. However, the percentage of respondents who support this view fell 6% in the last five years to 41%, while the percentage who place this mantle on China rose 14% during the same time period to 34%.
While the numbers demonstrate that many believe the US’ relative economic power is slipping, the poll did bear some good news for America’s supporters. A majority of people in 28 of the countries see the United States in a positive light, while the percentage of respondents with a favorable view of the US has grown significantly in 19 of those countries since 2007.
Only 19 of the countries have a majority with a favorable view of China. 37% of Americans said their impression of China was a positive one, with a similar number of Chinese – 40% to be exact – feeling the same towards the US.