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Expand chart
Adapted from Pew Research Center; Note: Survey of 25 countries. "Don't know", "Both", and "Neither" responses not shown; Axios Visuals

Many of America's closest allies tend to view China more favorably than the U.S. and have more confidence in Xi Jinping than Donald Trump, according to an annual survey from the Pew Research Center. But when asked whether the world would be better off with the U.S. or China as the leading global power, respondents overwhelmingly choose the U.S.

Why it matters: The U.S. is far less popular around the world than it was before Trump took office, and the decline has been particularly sharp in countries like the U.K., Germany and Canada. That stands to benefit America's rivals for global influence, but these numbers reveal widespread wariness of a China-led world.

By the numbers ...

  • Across the 25 countries polled, just 27% of respondents on average have confidence in Trump to "do the right thing regarding world affairs," compared to 34% for Xi. 
    • Even Russia's Vladimir Putin wins more confidence than Trump — he came in at 30%.
    • All three lag far behind Germany's Angela Merkel (52%) and France's Emmanuel Macron (46%).
  • The U.S. is viewed more favorably than China by a narrow margin (50% vs. 45%) across the 25 countries. But it is China that comes out narrowly ahead among allies like Canada, Germany and France.
    • The U.S. is viewed far more favorably than China in some Asian countries — particularly Japan, where just 17% have a favorable view of China. China polls higher in Latin America.
  • Pew also asked respondents who they thought the world's leading economic power was. The U.S. (39%) was the top answer, followed by China (34%). 
    • But when asked whether countries have become more or less influential over the past decade, 70% said China compared to 31% for the U.S.

Worth noting: Pew also asked whether respondents thought the U.S. and China respect the "personal freedoms" of their citizens. The vast majority said China does not, except in Africa, where majorities in all four countries polled believe China does respect personal liberties.

Go deeper

56 mins ago - World

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The Army has approved 39 more Purple Hearts for U.S. soldiers wounded in an Iranian military ballistic missile attack on an Iraq base in January 2020, the Army Times first reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: Most of these soldiers sustained brain injuries, per the Army Times. Then-President Trump dismissed their injuries at the time as "headaches" and "not very serious," sparking backlash from some veterans groups.

Scoop: U.S. begins denying Afghan immigrants

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The Biden administration has begun issuing denials to Afghans seeking to emigrate to the United States through the humanitarian parole process, after a system that typically processes 2,000 applications annually has been flooded with more than 30,000.

Why it matters: Afghans face steeper odds and longer processes for escaping to the U.S., despite the earlier sweeping efforts by the Biden administration to assist its allies. Immigration lawyers and advocacy groups say the government has set untenable barriers to a safe haven in the U.S.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Dems invoke Robert Byrd to sell Manchin on Senate rules changes

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photos: Diana Walker, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A small group of Senate Democrats is privately invoking the legacy of late West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd in an effort to sway Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to support their plans to change the chamber's rules, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Manchin — who holds Byrd's Senate seat — has often referenced his predecessor's strong moral conviction and insistence on preserving the Senate as an institution, as justification for some of his tough positions.