Business, Economics and Jobs

Has China replaced the US as superpower?


China's J-10 fighter jets perfom during the Air Show 2010 in Zhuhai, south China's Guangzhou province. Last year China won orders for 100 of its large, domestically built passenger jets, challenging industry giants Airbus and Boeing in what will soon become the world's largest aviation market.



Is America's global dominance over? After winning World War I, World War II and the Cold War, it appears that Pax Americana has finally fallen from its pedestal — at least in the eyes of key countries around the world.

Doubts are rising about America's superpower status. More and more, people view China as the global frontrunner, according to a poll published today by the Pew Research Center.

Western Europeans in particular see America slipping behind China as the world's premier superpower. French citizens lead the pack in perceiving America's slide. 

"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," Pew wrote. "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." Nearly half of Europeans polled already see China as the world's dominant economic power — and they tend to view this "as a bad thing."

Pew found that especially since 2009, America's status as the leading global super-power has slipped "substantially." China has the global momentum.

"[T]he view that China will overtake the U.S. has increased substantially over the past two years, including by 10 or more percentage points in Spain, France, Pakistan, Britain, Jordan, Israel, Poland and Germany."

Even Americans — famously confident of their status — are increasingly seeing China pulling ahead: "the percentage saying that China will eventually overshadow or has already overshadowed the U.S. has increased from 33 percent in 2009 to 46 percent in 2011."

While some might be inclined to blame America's declining image on US President Barack Obama, Pew refutes that. The good news, it reports, is that "opinion of the United States continues to be more favorable than it was in the Bush years." 

Follow the writer on Twitter @DavidCaseReport.