How Americans and Chinese view their countries and each other, in three charts

Trading places.
Trading places.
Image: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
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Americans have become more negative toward China, and they’re increasingly anxious about the US’s power in the world.

The two concurrent trends, according to Pew Research surveys conducted over the past decade, are summarized by the Washington DC-based think tank in a report published last week. During the period, American hostility toward China surpassed Chinese hostility toward the US, Pew said. In 2016, 55% of Americans held an unfavorable opinion of their biggest Asian rival, compared with 44% of Chinese who felt the same about the US.

Meanwhile, more Americans now believe US power is waning. In 2016, 46% of the American public said the US plays a less important and powerful role as a world leader compared with 10 years ago. The figure was up from 20% in 2004, according to the report.

The Chinese public, on the other hand, sees its country’s power on the rise.

When it comes to the global balance of power, two-thirds of Chinese said in 2015 that their country would eventually replace the US—or has already replaced it—as the world’s leading power, according to Pew.

Americans were split—but more pessimistic—when asked the same question. In 2015, about half of Americans believed China would never replace the US as the top global power. By contrast, in 2009, 57% of Americans thought that scenario would never happen.