The Pew Research Centre, a US statistics agency, has recently published a highly revealing study on various nations’ views about China compared to the United States.
The central question of the report – ‘who is the world’s leading economic power?’ – showed that, since 2008, when only 20% of the world cited China, a large change in attitudes has taken place. Now, 34% believe China is the global economic leader, with only 41% believing America retains the top spot. Interestingly, the nations who saw China as the biggest player tended to be those furthest away from it – America, Canada and Europe – whilst the Asian, African and Latin American countries still saw the US as the dominant nation.
In the subcategory of Soft Power in the report, defined as ‘a persuasive approach to international relations, typically involving the use of economic or cultural influence’, China was also gaining ground. Previously, it was widely believed that America’s innovation and media power would allow them to maintain their position as the most potent international psychological power. Now though, it seems that in certain domains, such as scientific and technological advances, China and America were overall viewed as equal. Similarly, in the field of ideas and customs spreading, Latin American and Africans saw both nations as equally influential.
Lloyd P.//SMC Editor