• Wed
  • Nov 26, 2014
  • Updated: 2:34pm
NewsChina
GLOBAL RELATIONS

China to replace America as the leading superpower, survey finds

Public's view of China not favourable, Pew survey finds

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 July, 2013, 11:41am
UPDATED : Friday, 19 July, 2013, 3:07am
 

China will replace America as the leading superpower, according to an international global attitudes survey released on Thursday, even though just half of the nations polled view China favourably.

And only one in every four nations thinks China respects the personal freedom of its people. In comparison, 95 per cent of nations think the US government respects its citizens’ personal freedoms in the survey which was conducted before Edward Snowden's surveillance revelations were made public.

These are among the major findings of the Pew Research Centre’s Global Attitudes Project, which conducted surveys in 39 countries among 37,653 respondents from March 2 to May 1, 2013. It is the first study to gauge public responses to China to such a large scale.

“It would appear that the treatment of personal freedom is a very strong indicator of favourability, and that’s a data point the Chinese government has to think about,” said Bruce Stokes, director of the Global Attitudes project.

Global perceptions about the balance of power have shifted since the financial crisis in 2008, with Pew surveys showing that more people now think China either already has or will eventually become the world’s dominant power.

Even in America, nearly half of respondents said China has or will replace the U.S. as the top global power.

Stokes said China’s rise could be a factor in its low favourability ratings: “When you’re considered the biggest guy on the block, you may not be liked,” he said.

The numbers of Chinese and Americans who hold positive views of the other country have plunged in the past two years. In Pew global survey results from two years ago, 51 per cent of Americans expressed a positive view of China compared with 37 per cent now. Similarly, 58 per cent of Chinese had a favourable opinion of America in 2010 while only 40 per cent do today.

Xu Guoqi, a Sino-foreign relations expert at the University of Hong Kong and author of Olympic Dreams, said that China’s global image suffers from a lack of direction in its foreign policy.

“The big problem with Chinese foreign policy is that it lacks long term thinking of [American] policies in the 19th and 20th centuries. China does not even have clearly defined national interests. For example, nobody today in Beijing can answer the following question: Whose interest is more important, the Communist Party's or national interest? What will the government do if there is clash between party's interest and national interest?”

Unsurprisingly, the Japanese have the lowest regard for China by a wide margin, with only 5 per cent expressing a positive view of China. The feeling is mutual. Only 4 per cent of Chinese see Japan favourably.

Share

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
28

This article is now closed to comments

caractacus
You validate everything critics of the USA hold true, that your right wing electorate is nuts.
reggiedog
I'd be interested in the results for people who have actually lived and worked in China, who have some understanding of the scale of the challenges and limits there.
caractacus
The opinions and perceptions of the uninformed are worthless. Let's not dwell on the USA's shortcomings because this is about China. What does China offer which will attract the rest of the world to it? Let's see, no rule of law, no elections, no civil liberties, no freedom of expression, rampant corruption, arbitrary government, racial exclusivity.
Yep, let's all emigrate there.
deendayal.lulla
China still has a long way to go,in becoming a superpower,which can match the USA militarily or economically. The US dollar is a global currency,whereas Chinese currency has to achieve this landmark. The US still attracts brains from all over the world.,especially from India. The software for digging the surface of Mars planet was developed by an Indian scientist working for NASA. The US has seven nuclear-powered aircraft carriers,whereas China has one,which is of no match to the USA. China is slowly making progress in military strength. We need a multi-polar world,for world peace. China should have asylum to Snowden.
norodnik
A map of this survey can be found here: www.pewglobal.org/2013/07/18/global-image-of-the-united-states-and-china/ . US less favourable to Argentina, Tunesia, Turkey, China, and Lebanon....rest of the world (surveyed) is favourable.... good night, Gracie....
johnyuan
I agree. But I don't know why. Chinese need to communicate effectively and efficently.
nickpal
China has an amazing story to tell, however, a certain amount of thanks need to be given to Taiwan for preserving the Chinese story rather than previous attempts that systematically tried to destroy it. Perhaps Taiwan can help the mainland rediscover China's amazing history. Surely, an understanding and respect for the past will aid in China's continued ascendency and inevitable place on top. As a caveat, one must also be cognizant of the old saying "be careful what you wish for, you might end up getting it". In modern times, Spain, France, UK, US, etc. have all had or still have their places in the sun, but when one is on top, regardless of brutality or benevolence, they become the bad guy to the rest of the world. And, as I know as an American, we have this underlying desire to see the guy on top fail, even if the guy on top happens to be ourselves. I don't think we're unique in this regard.
OldPeak Toad
Well, China already made it to fourth 'horniest country' - as duly reported in this SCMP tabloid. Keep working on it!
Artline500
In Hawthorne California there is a private company, SpaceX, where they are working on various projects one of which is the colonization of Mars. In our lifetimes. They already service the Space Station at 2/7 the cost of a Soyuz flight. China hasn't even landed a man on the moon yet! Are you kidding me?????
rliu8
History has ways of repeating itself. China at one time was the greatest country on earth and it is just on the way returning to its original place. American and Europeans have dominated last few hundred years due to industrialization and the invention of guns. As a result, Anglo Saxon culture has spread worldwide due to over exposure of Hollywood media machine. It will some some more years, but the momentum for China to return to its place as the #1 country isn't too far away.

Pages

Login

SCMP.com Account

or