Chinese upbeat on U.S. ties but feel country yet to reach ‘world power’ status

AFP-JIJI

More than 80 percent of Chinese say they do not yet see their country as a “world power,” a newspaper poll showed Monday.

The survey, in the Global Times daily, also said more than half of respondents expressed a “positive view” of Beijing’s relations with Washington.

A total of 82.3 percent of people surveyed said China had yet to obtain world-power status. The statistic made the front-page headline of the paper’s English-language edition — but in the Chinese-language version the story was relegated to a low mention on an inside page.

Asked what was “the most significant event that helped elevate China’s international standing” in 2012, 44.6 percent of respondents cited the navy taking delivery of the country’s first aircraft carrier. But the paper quoted Zhu Feng, a professor at Peking University, as saying: “Being a world power is not about how many aircraft carriers (China) has. It’s more about demonstrating a humble, elegant, confident image on a global platform.”

In the survey, 54 percent of respondents said China is on the verge of becoming a world power, while 53 percent felt positively about Sino-U.S. relations.

Around 57 percent named China as their “favorite country,” with the U.S. in second place. “It’s good to see a growing patriotism and recognition among Chinese for their motherland, but we cannot deny that the U.S. does have an appeal to some,” Zhu said. “For example, it does a better job at democracy and law enforcement.”