The US And China Are Locked In A Popularity Contest

The US and China are no stranger to competition. The two countries are the first and second largest economies in the world and the first and third largest militaries.

Globally, however, people — excluding the Middle East — report a more positive view of the US, the Pew Research Center reported in late 2014.

Anti-American sentiments have become common in many Middle Eastern nations, dating back to President George W. Bush. While the numbers in support of China aren’t particularly high, Turkey, Jordan, and Egypt gave the US some of its lowest ratings.

Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer, attending the World Economic Forum this year in Davos, Switzerland, tweeted about the ongoing popularity contest between the US and China.

U.S. Seen More Positively than China in Europe, Latin America, but Not in Middle East

In recent years, the US’ rating has fluctuated drastically. Respondents who viewed the country “very favourable” went from 2% in 2007 and 11% in 2012.

Opinions of China have shown the same level of volatility — although not as low. Between 2005 and 2011, the number of respondents who felt “very favourable” toward the republic never dipped below 8%.

Despite neck-in-neck numbers in some areas, in 2013, a median of 63% expressed a favourable opinion of the US, compared with 50% for China.

Here’s a look at the 34 countries (including China) that gave the US a favorability rating of 50% or more as of September:

The rift in favorability hasn’t affected China’s growing grip on the globe though. Many people, according to a 2013 Pew Research Center study, increasingly believe that China could supersede the US economically and politically.

In 2008, for example, 47% of respondents labelled the US the “world’s leading economic power,” while only 20% said the same of China. In 2013, however, those numbers became 41% and 34%.

Even within the US, 47% of respondents said in 2013 that China already is or will be the world’s leading superpower.

Over the last few years, China has also formed an alliance with Russia to undermine the West’s power and influence around the globe.

One top CEO told our editor-in-chief Henry Blodget, also attending to the WEF, that China will take over the world in the next few decades.

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