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America's Global Image More Positive than China's

But global survey charts shifting perceptions about the economic balance of power

| BY Donald Liebenson

A new Pew Research survey gauging attitudes toward the global images of the United States and China recall the cautionary words spoken by Frank Pentangeli to Michael Corleone in The Godfather II: “Your father did business with Hyman Roth, your father respected Hyman Roth, but your father never trusted Hyman Roth.”

While the survey of 38,000 people from 39 countries indicates a growing belief that the global balance of power is shifting from the United States to China, the United States still enjoys a stronger global image than China. Almost two-thirds of respondents gave the U.S. a favorable rating vs. 50 percent for China. Similarly, a majority (59 percent) consider the U.S. to be a partner compared with 39 percent for China, while publics around the world are more likely to believe that the U.S. more than China considers their country’s interests (37 percent vs. 27 percent)

On the subject of which country has more respect for personal freedoms, it’s no contest: The U.S. wins hands down 70 percent vs. 36 percent.

Not surprisingly, the favorable ratings of both countries vary by region, with the U.S. receiving mostly positive ratings among European countries and mostly negative in parts of the Muslin world, in particular Pakistan (11 percent), Jordan (14 percent), Egypt (16 percent) and Palestinian territories. In contrast, 83 percent of Israeli respondents give America a favorable rating vs. 38 percent for China.

But the Pew survey charts shifting global perceptions about the economic balance of power. Among the nations surveyed in 2008 and 2013, the median percentage that name the U.S. as the world’s leading economic power has declined from 47 percent to 31 percent, while the median percentage placing China in the top spot has risen from 20 percent to 34 percent.

This trend, Pew reports, has been especially apparent among some of America’s closest Western European allies, including Britain and Germany. In 23 of 39 nations represented in the survey, majorities or pluralities say China either already has or eventually will replace the U.S. as the top superpower.

China, along with Brazil is the foreign country in which Millionaires are most likely to invest, according to Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner research. Across age groups, young Millionaires were significantly more likely than their older counterparts to express an intention of invest in China this year (35 percent vs. 22 percent of Millionaire investors ages 45-54 and 15 percent of Baby Boomers ages 55 and 64.

A report issued in November by the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation projects the U.S. growth rate to be 2 percent this year and 2.8 percent in 2014, while China is expected to grow 8.5 percent this year and 8.9 percent next year.

About the Author

Donald Liebenson


Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.  

A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.