Is the US still the world’s largest superpower? Some might argue that China may have already taken its place.
To be sure, the US still has the world’s largest economy by GDP, but doubts are growing about whether the US’s reputation, with a rising China increasingly seen as equal, or even more powerful, than the US.
A new study commissioned by the Pew Research Center found that more countries still believe the US is the world’s foremost economic superpower.
But among the world’s emerging economies, a growing number are growing more dependent on China.
In the US, a majority believe their own country is the No. 1 power, though there are stark partisan differences, with Democrats more likely to see China as No. 1.
Even if China’s rise is largely perceived as positive by the citizens of emerging market economies, the results show that they have more reservations about the country’s growing military might.
What’s perhaps even more interesting is how China’s neighbors feel about China. According to Pew, they generally feel more negative about both China’s growing economic and military might.
Generally speaking, China’s economic influence is seen in a similar or even slightly more positive light than the US’s. Still, the US remains, in terms of perception, the world’s largest economic and military power.
Across Latin America, to sub-Saharan Africa, to the Asia Pacific, more people see the US as the world’s top economy. So it makes sense that most of those who see the US as the top economy prefer having economic ties with the US over China.
The American Press seemingly fixates on the US’s crumbling relationship with its closest allies in Western Europe – something that we’ll be hearing even more about if Trump moves ahead with tariffs on Europe – but Pew’s research found that the US is viewed as the “top ally”.
The Pew survey was pretty ambitious: 38,426 people in 34 countries participated between May and October of this year.