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How the World Sees China and America

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The survey was responded to by 38,000 people from 39 countries. Now, before you discount this, granted, 38,000 is nothing compared to billions of global inhabitants, but a glimpse of how those polled see the two countries seems accurate.

The Chinese have no doubt they will be the largest in population and in economics bypassing the USA as the major world power. Americans are divided about it. The Chinese also want more respect because of it. This might translate into strong arming weaker nations or use of military show of force. Perhaps the most interesting thing is that both Americans and Chinese view each other with suspicion by almost the same percentages, 37% for Americans and 40% by Chinese. The Chinese opinions of Obama have been dropping steadily and feel the relationship between the two countries is becoming less cooperative. About a quarter of the Chinese describe the relationship as "hostile", while over 50% of them have negative opinions of Americans in general.

America's stature in the world remains at 63% favorable, while China received 50%. China's most favorable status come from, as suspected, African nations where China has invested heavily to acquire resources and help the poor nations in Africa become more modern. America seems to have less interest in Africa than China. In other parts of the world, China's favorable status remains much less than America's, between 34-58%. While it may not be a surprise, only 5% of the Japanese like China and the Germans are not far behind them even though both countries do business in China.

Unlike American culture, which can be seen in all parts of the world in bits and pieces, none of the nations expressed any interest in Chinese culture that their populations would gravitate to. China's human rights record is not good and there is increasing worry about its growing military.

The survey can be seen as ways to improve relations and how to avoid creating truth to suspicions leaders may have. But, China's biggest PR issue is over personal freedoms in China. Nearly all those polled did not think China cared about personal freedoms. It is always the State first, person second.

They call it communism.

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Doodlehead from Northern California on July 18, 2013:

That is if we can keep our own "framework" of our own society from falling under the current communistic framework.

Jed Fisher from Oklahoma on July 18, 2013:

From ancient times, trade with China has been the goal of Western Civilization. Marco Polo sought it. The Dutch East India Trade Company amassed great wealth from it, and The British Empire was built around trade with China. North and South America was discovered only because explorers sought new routes to China. America is right there, nothing between the two countries but an ocean. China is just now dusting itself off and getting back on its feet after three centuries of external oppression and internal strife. The British polluted the place with heroine, the Japanese invaded mercilessly, the Communist purged and destroyed the framework of society, and the Cold War left China cut off from innovation and development and trade with the West. Now China stands ready to once again become the source of immense wealth for whatever Western nation can most efficiently trade with it. That would be, America.

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