China’s influence in the world continues to grow, although more people see the United States more favorably than China, according to a recent survey of 19 countries done by the Pew Research Center.
Survey results show that a median of 66 percent across 19 countries say China’s influence on the world stage is getting stronger, while just 32 percent say the same about the US.
This gap in perceptions is largest in Australia, where more than three times as many say China’s influence is growing than say the same about American influence (73% vs. 19%).
In each country surveyed, more than half of adults say China’s influence in the world is strengthening. Few tend to describe China’s influence as staying the same (median of 20%) or getting weaker (12%).
Evaluations of America’s global influence vary more widely. Across the surveyed countries, a median of 32 percent describe US influence as getting stronger, while 37 percent say it is staying the same and 27 percent say it is getting weaker.
In contrast to views of China’s influence, more than half of the public in only one country – Poland – say US influence is growing. At the same time, however, there are no countries where more than half say US influence is weakening, either.
Across most countries surveyed, more educated people are more likely to say China’s power is growing. In about a third of the places surveyed, more educated people are also more likely to say that US influence is getting weaker.
In many countries, younger people tend to feel more positively about China than older people. In 12 of the 18 countries surveyed, including the US, those under age 30 have more favorable views of China than those ages 50 and older, with the largest difference in Japan.
When it comes to views of the US, the pattern is more varied. In Australia, the Netherlands and Sweden, for example, younger people have much less positive views of the US than older people do. In Malaysia, Singapore and Spain, the opposite is true.
Taken together, young people in a few countries – including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Sweden and the United Kingdom – are both more positive toward China and less positive toward the US than older adults. South Korea is the only place surveyed where younger people have more negative views of China and more positive views of the US than their older counterparts.
In most countries, however, majorities have a favorable view of the US, while fewer than around a third tend to say the same of China.
Attitudes vary widely within the Asia-Pacific region, according to the report.
In South Korea, 89 percent have a favorable view of the US, 70 percentage points more than the 19 percent who say the same of China. This is the widest gap observed among all 19 countries.
The US is also seen substantially more positively than China in Japan (+58 points) and Australia (+40 points).
Conversely, more people in Malaysia and Singapore hold favorable views of China than the US, said the report. In both countries, the share who see China positively is 16 points greater than the share who see the US in the same light.
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