Yikes. People around the world believe the global balance of power is shifting, and it’s not marvelous news for the stars and stripes.
Cornerstone economic, political, military and cultural facts and figures aside, in 23 of 39 nations, majorities or pluralities say China either already has replaced or eventually will replace the U.S. as the top superpower.
Since 2008, the median percentage naming the U.S. as the world’s leading economic power has dropped from 47 percent to 41 percent, while the median percentage placing China in the top spot has climbed from 20 percent to 34 percent.
This trend has been especially apparent among some of America’s closest allies in Western Europe. Today, for example, 53 percent in Britain say China is the leading economy; just 33 percent name the U.S. Roughly six in 10 Germans say China occupies the top position, while only 19 percent think the U.S. is the global economic leader (14 percent say it is the EU).
Throughout much of Europe, the prevailing view is that China will ultimately eclipse the U.S. as the leading superpower. Spain and France lead the U.S. naysayers, with seven in 10 saying China will eventually or already has replaced the U.S. as the world’s top economic force. Interestingly, the two countries are also among the world’s most concerned about Beijing’s failure to take their country’s interests into account when making foreign policy decisions.
Despite China’s increasing power, the U.S. still enjoys a stronger global image. Across the nations surveyed, 63 percent express a favorable opinion of the U.S., compared with 50 percent for China.
You can read Pew Research Center’s complete report here.