December 1, 1999

U.S. Status as World’s Superpower Challenged by Rise of China

15 of 22

While the United States is now seen more favorably around the world than it was in the Bush years, its image faces a new challenge: doubts about America’s superpower status.

In most regions of the world, opinion of the United States continues to be more favorable than it was in the Bush years, but U.S. image now faces a new challenge: doubts about America’s superpower status. In 15 of 22 nations, the balance of opinion is that China either will replace or already has replaced the United States as the world’s leading superpower. This view is especially widespread in Western Europe, where at least six-in-ten in France (72%), Spain (67%), Britain (65%) and Germany (61%) see China overtaking the U.S. Majorities in Pakistan (57%), the Palestinian territories (54%), Mexico (53%) and China (63%) itself also foresee China supplanting the U.S. as the world’s dominant power. Across the nations surveyed, the U.S. generally receives more favorable marks than China: the median percentage rating China favorably is 52%, eight points lower than the median percentage offering a positive assessment of the U.S. Read More