WASHINGTON, (AFP) - Most Americans believe China is the world's leading economy, even though in reality the rising Asian power's GDP trails that of the United States, a poll said Monday.
Some 52 percent of Americans said China was the "leading economic power in the world today," against 32 percent who said their own country, the Gallup poll said. The percentage who said China has soared over recent years.
Seven percent identified Japan as the leading economic power, according to the poll, which surveyed 1,015 US adults this month.
The poll was released as data showed that China became the world's second largest economy in 2010, dethroning Japan which held the title for 42 years.
But at $5.879 trillion, China's GDP last year was still well below the $14.660 trillion in the United States, according to preliminary figures from the two countries.
However, some economists believe that China -- which has four times the US population and, as a developing country, much faster growth -- will overtake the United States in the 2020s.
Asked who would be the leading economic power in 20 years, 47 percent of Americans said China, with 35 percent saying their own country, the poll said.
Small number said Japan, the European Union and India.
The role of China has become politically charged in the United States, as lawmakers across the spectrum voice concern about its holdings of US debt and its massive industry in inexpensive manufactured goods.
The Gallup findings were similar to a poll released in January by the Pew Research Center, which found that 47 percent of Americans believed China was the top economic power.
But surveys have also found that US public views of China are nuanced. An earlier survey by the Pew Research Center found that 49 percent of Americans saw China favorably and 36 percent saw it unfavorably -- a more upbeat view of China than that in most European nations, Japan, India and South Korea.
미국인 52% "세계 1위 경제대국은 中"
(워싱턴 AFP=연합뉴스) 미국인 절반 이상이 세계 1위 경제대국은 중국이라고 생각하는 것으로 14일(현지시각) 나타났다.
여론조사기관 갤럽이 이달 미국 성인 1천15명을 대상으로 진행한 설문조사에 따르면 세계 1위 경제대국이 어느 나라인지를 묻는 질문에 52%가 중국이라고 응답했다.
이는 작년보다 13%포인트 증가한 수치로, 지난 2000년에는 불과 10%만이 중국을 세계 최강의 경제대국으로 꼽았던 것과 크게 대비되는 결과다.
반면 이번 설문조사에서 미국이 세계 1위 경제대국이라고 응답한 사람은 32%로, 작년보다 4%포인트 감소했다.
일본을 선택한 응답자는 7%로 나타났고, 유럽연합(EU)과 러시아, 인도를 택한 응답자는 각각 3% 이하였다.
앞으로 20년간 세계경제를 선도할 국가로는 응답자의 47%가 중국, 35%가 미국을 꼽았다.