China's global leadership wins higher approval rating than U.S.
Updated 12:00, 15-Mar-2019
CGTN

A new Gallup report shows global approval of China's leadership ranked higher than the U.S. in 2018, with an approval rate of 34 percent, ticking up to its highest point in almost a decade, the U.S. public opinion polls conductor said Thursday.

The report, named Gallup's Rating World Leaders: 2019, measures how the public in 133 countries views the global leadership of the U.S., China, Germany and Russia.

It shows the median approval for China's leadership stands at 34 percent, while 30 percent approve of Russia's leadership. Germany finishes at the top, with a 39 percent approval rating.

The global approval of U.S. leadership sits at its lowest level for any of the past three U.S. administrations, dropping to 31 percent.

The plummet in approval of U.S. leadership started the first year into Trump's presidency when it fell from 48 percent during the last year of the Obama administration to 30 percent.

Approval of China's leadership has been on a steady climb. In 2017, the U.S. and China were nearly on equal footing for the first time in the decade-long trend. And in 2018, China first topped the U.S. in ranking.

Median global approval of China's leadership compared with the U.S. /CGTN Photo

Median global approval of China's leadership compared with the U.S. /CGTN Photo

China's approval rating reaches the highest in Africa, with the median approval of 53 percent. Of the top 10 countries having the highest approval of China's leadership, eight are from Africa. China earns the highest marks in neighboring Pakistan, where 73 percent approve of China's leadership.

Russia's approval rate, for the first time, is approaching equal footing with the U.S. Its approval rating jumped to 30 percent from 27 percent in the previous year.

The report shows that in several regions, the approval rating for China and Russia increased as the impression on the U.S. turned unfavorable. For example, in Turkey, China and Russia saw their ratings both increased by at least 10 points in 2018, whereas the approval rating for the U.S. dropped 13 percent.

Since Trump entered office, he walked back from many key international obligations, ranging from withdrawing from the climate change agreement to pulling out of the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia. 

This low rating may have implications for the U.S.' soft power. The low approval rating for the U.S. "suggests that the doubts sowed in Trump's first year about U.S. commitments abroad have taken root," the Gallup report reads.

(Infographics by Qu Bo)