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World to US: ‘You’re No. 2’ – but can China be No. 1?

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It is not that the nations polled by the Pew organization relish the prospect of America’s eclipse. The French, Germans, Spanish, and Japanese, for instance, rue China’s potential as the world’s leading economic power.

But 72 percent of the French, 67 percent of the Spanish, 65 percent of the British, and 61 percent of the Germans see China overtaking the US as the world’s superpower. Even 46 per cent of Americans think China has or will overshadow them. This is up from 33 per cent in 2009.

Populations in Eastern Europe, Asia, and Latin America are less convinced that China is the world’s leading economic power.

However, the prospect of China matching the US in military power is much more disturbing. In Japan and India the prevailing view is that China’s growing military power is not in their interest. Majorities in Western and Eastern Europe, and in Turkey and Israel, share this view.

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