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Part II, Page 13
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Part II: China's Rise and Its Implications for U.S.-China Relations

13. Assessing International Influence

Global Influence
US Survey
(US SURVEY) How has China's global influence changed over the past 10 years?
General Public
Business Leaders
Congressional Staffers
Opinion Leaders
China Survey
(CHINA SURVEY) How has the U.S. global influence changed over the past 10 years?
General Public
Business Leaders
Opinion Leaders

Narrative Analysis

United States:
  • Large majorities of all four samples believe that China's global influence has increased over the past 10 years. That number was lowest among the general public (81%) and of that group, only 76% of 18 to 29 year olds believe China's global influence has grown in that time.
  • Most in the general public agree that China's global influence has increased (81%), including those with a very favorable impression of China (74%) concurring with those who have a very unfavorable impression of the country (75%).
  • The opinion that China's influence is growing correlates with the respondent's degree of education, as those with less than a high school education (76%), who finished high school (79%), received some college education (79%) are less likely to hold that opinion than are college graduates (86%).
China:
  • All three samples are widely divided as to the changes in American international influence over the past decade: the percentages of those who think its influence has increased, decreased or remained unchanged are similar.
  • The percentage of opinion leaders who think the influence has decreased is 12 and 14 percentage points higher than business leaders and the general public, respectively. Business leaders who think that influence has remained unchanged is 13 and 17 percentage points higher than opinion leaders and the general public.
  • Among the general public, more people with a high income think U.S. international influence has increased over the past decade (46%) than those in the middle (35%) and low-income range (34%).