China will eventually surpass the United States in superpower status, say nearly half of over 38,000 people surveyed by the Pew Research Global Attitudes Project.
According to the survey, taken this year, 13 percent of people around the world believe that China has already surpassed the United States in superpower status, with another 33 percent saying it’s going to happen eventually.
And to think we hardly knew them, or their customs, as they are race by. Who are their innovators, their visionaries, their business tycoons?
Perhaps the most important thing to know about China is whether or not its leaders read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein prior to becoming a monstrous world power?
China cherry picks concepts from capitalism and communism and cobbles the parts together to form its own brand of enterprise. It doesn’t matter if it fits some underlying democratic principle as long as it’s big, powerful and sort of recognizable. Jolt it with the promise of middle class living if you must. Then send it to town to stagger through the marketplace.
Being the big dog does seem to have drawbacks for China. For example, based on the median percentages in 38 countries, barely half of the countries of the world have a favorable opinion of China, while 36 percent have an unfavorable opinion. Meanwhile, 63 percent of the world’s people have a favorable opinion of the United States, while 30 percent have an unfavorable opinion.
Seventy percent of respondents say the United States respects the personal freedom of its people, compared to 36 percent for China. Forty-three percent said China does not respect the personal freedom of its people, compared to only 16 percent for the United States.
The United States receives mostly favorable ratings in Latin America, where Brazilians and Mexicans have become notably more positive toward the United States in just the past year.
The United States also receives largely positive ratings in most of the nations surveyed in Asia. This is especially true in the Philippines, South Korea, Japan, and Australia, where about two-thirds or more hold this view. The United States also gets mostly favorable marks in the predominantly Muslim nations of Indonesia and Malaysia.
Chinese attitudes about the United States have changed significantly over the past three years, according to the survey. For example, in 2010, 58 percent of Chinese had a favorable opinion of the United States compared with 40 percent now.
Conversely, the poll also said that only 37 percent of Americans expressed a positive view of China, compared to 51 percent two years ago.
On the other hand, China is not much into what other people think. And of course, neither was Mary Shelley’s monster.