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Updated 10:35 AM EDT, Thu, Apr 18, 2019

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Global Popularity? U.S. is More Popular than China, says Pew Research

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(Photo : Pew Research ) Pew Research Center graphics show how China and the U.S. fared in "positive image" ratings across different regions of the world. On Monday, Pew released the results of a global survey done between May and June 2014.

Despite revelations that U.S. agents have been tapping into the mobile phones of friendly national leaders, and despite its use of unmanned drones to kill its enemies, the United States remains to be more popular as a world leader than rising power China.

This is according to a survey released Monday by Pew Research Center, which interviewed 48,643 respondents in 44 countries from March through June.

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The survey also showed President Barack Obama continues to be popular around the world in spite of dropping approval ratings at home.

A median 56 percent across those interviewed said they remain confident that Obama will still do the right thing when it comes to international affairs.

Obama's global standings, however, suffered the biggest declines in Germany and in Brazil, two nations where news broke recently that the U.S. intelligence agents have been listening to private mobile phone conversations of their national leaders.

On an overall scale, 65 percent expressed a positive opinion of the U.S., while a median of 49 percent expressed a favorable opinion of China, 16 percentage points lower than the U.S.

In 35 countries that were surveyed both in 2014 and 2013, the U.S. rating remained unchanged at 62 percent.

Pew research also showed that many countries estimate that China's global clout will continue to rise in the coming years.

The number of respondents who believe China may eclipse the U.S. as the world's superpower has risen markedly - from 32 percent to 50 percent - since 2008 when the global economy slowed down.

The countries surveyed see China's growing economy as a positive thing, although China's overall image in the U.S. and among European nations is mostly negative.

Meanwhile, the research also showed that, among neighboring countries in Asia, China's growing military might, along with its expanding economic strength worldwide, is a cause for concern.

Half of the 11 countries in Asia said they are concerned that China's disputes with neighbors in East Asia might lead to a disastrous military conflict.

93 percent of Filipinos surveyed said they are worried about China's growing presence in the South China Sea, while 85 percent in both Japan and Vietnam said they believe the territorial disputes will deteriorate militarily.

Two-thirds of Americans believe the South China Sea and East China Sea disputes will most likely lead to hostile action, as do 62 percent of Chinese who responded to the survey.

Even as most Asian countries appear to be looking for a U.S. role in keeping peace in the region, Pakistan regards China more favourably in this role than it does the U.S. and its neighbour India.

Among countries in the Middle East, China appears to be more popular at 49 percent, as against the U.S. rating of 30 percent.

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