Sunday, 28 February 2010

Half of Americans foresee a ‘Chinese century’

Around half of Americans believe the US will play a smaller role in global affairs in coming decades, with many predicting a “Chinese century”, a poll said on Thursday.

1 comment:

Guanyu 道 said...

Half of Americans foresee a ‘Chinese century’

Agence France-Presse in Washington
27 February 2010

Around half of Americans believe the US will play a smaller role in global affairs in coming decades, with many predicting a “Chinese century”, a poll said on Thursday.

The Washington Post-ABC News survey comes at a time of uncertainty in relations between the US and China, which is flexing its muscles on political and trade issues.

The survey found that 46 per cent of Americans believed their country would play a smaller role in the 21st century than in the 20th. Thirty-two per cent predicted a larger US role. The rest said it would stay the same.

When asked only about economic clout, 53 per cent expected a smaller US role this century.

Forty-three per cent believed the 21st century would be more of a “Chinese century”, while 38 per cent thought it would be another “American century”.

Many Americans were alarmed by the trend. Thirty-nine per cent said it would be bad for the US to play a smaller global role; 19 per cent said it was a good thing and 40 per cent said it was neither good nor bad.

The poll randomly surveyed 1,004 adults by telephone. The margin of error was five percentage points.

China’s economy has been growing at a breakneck pace, fuelled by a manufacturing industry that has led the “Made in China” label to become omnipresent in US stores.

China has bought more than US$750 billion worth of the US’ ballooning debt, although it cut back its holdings last year.

Despite concerns in some American circles about its rise, China remains a much poorer nation than the US. The billion-plus nation’s per capita annual income was US$2,940 in 2008, compared with US$47,580 for the United States, according to the World Bank.

The poll said the findings mirrored US concerns about Japan two decades ago. A 1991 survey by ABC News and Japan’s public broadcaster NHK found that 60 per cent of Americans saw Japan’s economic strength as a threat. But Japan was just entering its “lost decade” of zero growth.