Asian Publics Rank U.S. Ahead of A Rising
In 2008, The Chicago Council surveyed 6,000 people in six countries (
"The center of gravity in international politics is moving from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The
The soft power index findings include:
The United Statesranks first in terms of overall soft power in China, Japan, and South Korea, and second (next to Japan) in Indonesiaand Vietnam. All countries rank the United Statesabove Chinain soft power.
- When separated into categories,
the United Statesleads Chinain four (Political, Diplomatic, Human Capital, and Economic), while Chinaleads the United Statesin one (Cultural).
- Majorities or pluralities in all Asian countries surveyed believe that U.S. influence in
Asiahas increased over the past ten years. Only a majority of Americans believe that U.S. influence has remained about the same.
- Chinese perceptions of
the United Stateshave grown noticeably warmer compared to The Chicago Council's 2006 survey, and Chinese demonstrate consistently positive attitudes towards U.S. influence in Asia.
Chinafairs much worse than expected in soft power -- strong majorities in Japan(74%), South Korea(74%), the United States(70%), and a plurality in Indonesia(47%), believe that Chinacould become a military threat to their country.
- Majorities in
the United States, Japanand South Koreabelieve that the U.S. military presence in Asiais a stabilizing force that is helping to prevent an arms race between Japanand China; a majority in Chinais of the opposite opinion and Indonesians are split.
In addition to the soft power index, The Chicago Council's 2008 study of public opinion provides findings about the American public's attitudes towards
- On a barometer of how Americans feel towards other nations (with 0 meaning a very cold, unfavorable feeling, 100 meaning a very warm, favorable feeling, and 50 being neutral),
Japanranks well ahead of China, with a mean rating of 59 compared to China's41.
- Additionally, 67 percent of Americans view
Chinaas an unfair trade partner.
- Americans see
Japanas influential and important, they also want to see Japando more to contribute to international security.
- When asked whether
Japanor Chinais more important to the United Statesin terms of "vital interests," a majority of Americans say Chinais more important (51%), while 44 percent say Japanis more important.
Conclusions are based on two Chicago Council public opinion surveys conducted in early to mid 2008. For more information and to download the full reports, please visit thechicagocouncil.org/softpowerindex.
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, founded in 1922, is a prominent, independent and nonpartisan organization committed to influencing the discourse on global issues through contributions to opinion and policy formation, leadership dialogue, and public learning. The
SOURCE The Chicago Council on Global Affairs