Countries prefer U.S. to China as leading superpower, poll finds

  • Written by Axios
  • Published in Politics
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Data: Eurasia Group Foundation; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

A new poll of nine big countries finds a strong preference for the U.S., rather than China, to be the leading superpower.

Why it matters: The Eurasia Group Foundation (EGF) poll is the latest signal that many around the world are viewing China's rise with trepidation.

Breaking it down: Huge majorities in India, Nigeria, Poland and Brazil — and pluralities in Egypt and Mexico — think U.S. influence in their region has generally been positive over the last 20 years.

  • In China, 62% believe it's been negative.

That's a relatively new phenomenon in China. When EGF first conducted this poll in 2019, just 17% of Chinese respondents had negative views of the U.S. overall. Three years later, 45% do.

  • Views of China in the U.S. have grown more negative still, according to recent polls from Pew and Gallup.
  • Washington isn't preferred over Beijing everywhere around the world. EGF found in 2021 that two-thirds of Russians would rather China be the leading global power.
  • Among the nine countries in the new EGF poll, the top reason for picking the U.S. was that it's a "trustworthy economic partner," while the top reason for picking China was that it's "a good example for national development."

EGF also asked about two other U.S. exports: pop culture and "ideas of democracy."...

  • While the Jan. 6 hearings in Washington have highlighted the fragile state of American democracy, huge majorities in Nigeria, India, Poland, Brazil and Egypt view U.S. democracy favorably and want their governing system

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