China Seen Edging Past U.S. as Top Economic Power

In a recent global Pew Research Center survey, respondents viewed China as the world’s top economic power for the first time. Yet overall perceptions of China varied as in some countries positive views of China declined compared to previous surveys. From AP:

The 21-nation poll found that 41 percent of people said China was the world’s economic power, while 40 percent favored the U.S. Among the 14 nations that were asked the same question in 2008, the margin was wider: 45 percent placed the U.S. on top four years ago, with just 22 percent for China, but in the latest poll China was favored 42 percent to 36 percent.

The trend was especially strong in Europe: 58 percent of people in Britain saw China as the leading economy, versus just 28 percent for the United States. Even in the U.S., respondents were about evenly divided on the question. Turkey and Mexico were the only countries where more than half of people consider the United States the leading economic power.

[…] The survey also found that China’s image has grown more negative over the past year in the United States, Japan and parts of Europe.

Across the 21 nations surveyed, the median percentage with positive views of China and the United States were about the same, at 49 percent and 52 percent, respectively. But Pew noted that overall figure concealed big differences in some countries. In Japan, 72 percent saw the U.S. favorably, versus just 15 percent for China. In Pakistan, 85 percent saw China favorably while just 12 percent said the same for the United States.

Read more about global views of China, via CDT.