Which country is the world’s economic super power?

Standing on the shoulders of giant tech companies.
Standing on the shoulders of giant tech companies.
Image: REUTERS/Wong Campion
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The US and Chinese government continue to jockey for global trade superiority. Most recently, the Trump administration issued an executive order that amounted to a ban on products from the Chinese tech company Huawei. But that’s just the latest attack in a long series of skirmishes, from increased tariffs to the detention of key executives.

So is the US-China trade war a battle of equals or a lop-sided contest? Depends on who you ask. A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center asking “what country is the world’s leading economic power,” presents not a unified global mindset, but opinions that vary by region.

China strong

According to people in Germany, Canada, and Australia, China has been and continues to be the world’s top economic power.

Rising influence

In South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria, perceptions are shifting towards China. In recent years, the Chinese government and Chinese companies have spent billions to build infrastructure on the African continent.

The ties that bind

The US’s pacific allies like Japan and South Korea still view it as the outright economic leader…

…while its post-war allies UK and France have similar views of the US and China.

Old war

Something that Americans and Russians agree: the US and China are currently declining as world economic leaders 1.

But what about China?

Noticeably absent are the Chinese people’s views. From 2008 to 2017, the nation put the US as the economic world power. Then Chinese laws made conducting surveys like this much harder which has prevented new results from being collected.