SURVEY SAYS: A Pew Research Center survey of people in 21 countries found that 41 percent said China was the world's leading economic power, while 40 percent picked the U.S.
REALITY: The results do not reflect reality. America's economy remains well ahead of its closest rival. But it does highlight China's rising public image amid rapid growth and the erosion of the United States' status as the global superpower.
CONTEXT: China passed Germany as the biggest exporter in 2009 and has overtaken Japan as the world's second-biggest economy. But it is relatively poor by income per person.