Countries around the world have a higher opinion of the United States than they have of the People’s Republic of China, according to a new global poll from the Pew Research group.

The research firm put together the following infographic to illustrate how the U.S.’ “favorability” stacks up next to communist China. Unsurprisingly, the only place where China is more popular than the U.S. is the Middle East.

Pew Research Group: U.S. More Popular Than China Among Other NationsStill, according to Pew Research, the world’s perception of China as a major player in the global economy has grown exponentially since the 2008 financial crisis.

“However, China’s increasing power has not led to more positive ratings for the People’s Republic. Overall, the U.S. enjoys a stronger global image than China,” the Pew Research report notes. “People are more likely to consider the U.S. a partner to their country than to see China in this way.”

“And respecting individual liberty remains the strong suit of America’s image,” it adds. “Meanwhile, both of these world powers are widely viewed as acting unilaterally in international affairs.”

Pew Research Group: U.S. More Popular Than China Among Other Nations

Still, even though the U.S. outranks China in “favorability” in nearly every country, there’s an important takeaway from the above graphic.

“What’s interesting is how close the two nations are in terms of global perception,” Annalee Newitz writes for io9. “Remember, this is just measuring how people responded to questions about whether they viewed the nations favorably — so the numbers add up to more than 100% because many people viewed both nations favorably.”

“What’s interesting is how much these vague perceptions of ‘favorableness’ can feed into what we anticipate will happen to both countries in the future,” Newitz adds. “The more that people like China, the more willing they are to believe that it will become the world’s leading superpower.”

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