This Landmark Survey Says America Is NOT The World's Leading Economic Power

Whatever the reality, China is now generally perceived as the number one economic superpower in the world, according to research released this week from Pew Global.

Pew China US

Photo: Pew Research

Of course, if we talk about “economic power”, it’s a (probably deliberately) vague question. By size, China clearly isn’t beating the US — the IMF puts its GDP at than half of the US size, and GDP per capita is far lower.

If we talk about economic influence, however, the Chinese argument becomes much more complicated, and arguably more pervasive — think of Chinese artificially-controlled yuan, Chinese holdings of US debt, their power over manufacturing sectors.

Looking at the table that shows how individual country’s responded, we wonder if respondents themselves were interpreting “economic power” differently. For example, 41% of American perhaps see the news about China’s enormous economic growth and think “China is economically powerful”.

Pew China US

Photo: Pew Research

On the other hand, given their low rating (29%) of their own country, it certainly seems like Chinese respondents may be looking at the higher wealth and living standards of the average American when they answered the question.

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