Poll Says China Has Passed America Economically

As competition between the United States and China intensifies, more Americans now say the Asian country is more powerful economically, a reversal from two years ago when a plurality said the United States had an economic advantage, according to a survey released Thursday by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

The nationwide survey also found that protecting U.S. jobs ranks ahead of other American foreign policy priorities such as fighting global pandemics, combating international terrorism and limiting climate change. But a majority do not see current policies as benefiting working-class or middle-class Americans. Instead, large majorities said that U.S. foreign policies help large companies, wealthy Americans, the government and the military.

Concerns about China’s economic prowess and the perceived priorities of U.S. foreign policy represent challenges for President Biden and his senior advisers, who have said they will orient their international policies with an eye to aiding working families. One part of this involves confronting China for alleged trade abuses, currency practices and other matters.

The July Chicago Council poll found 40 percent saying China is currently stronger in its economic power, compared with 27 percent who said the United States was stronger and 31 percent who said the nations are about equal. By contrast, the group’s 2019 survey found Americans saying the United States was stronger by a 38 percent to 31 percent margin, with 29 percent saying the two were about equal.

Gallup polls found a similar change in views of the balance of economic power between the two nations this past February. Gallup saw a 13-point decline in the share of Americans saying the United States was the strongest nation economically compared with 2020, while China saw an 11-point increase over the same period.

This is not the first time, however, that Americans have seen China’s economic power as surpassing that of the United States; China was seen as the strongest economy in polls by both Gallup and the Chicago Council from 2011 to 2016.

Surveys by the Pew Research Center show a different pattern, with a summer 2020 survey showing 52 percent of Americans seeing the United States as the “world’s leading economic power,” compared with 32 percent who chose China, an advantage the United States has held in Pew surveys since 2015. That survey also found pluralities or majorities of nine Western European countries saw China as the world’s economic leader, while majorities in Japan and South Korea chose the United States.

Militarily, the Chicago Council poll found a decline in the share of Americans saying the United States is stronger than China, falling from 58 percent in 2019 to 46 percent this year. A far-smaller 18 percent believed China has a military advantage, though 35 percent believed the countries possess equal strength.

The survey was conducted before the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, which included a chaotic evacuation of Americans and U.S. allies after the Taliban captured Kabul. A Washington Post-ABC News poll in early September found 60 percent of Americans disapproved of Biden’s handling of that situation.

Source: MSN