WASHINGTON — Two of President Donald Trump’s biggest rivals on the world stage — Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping — generate more confidence in their ability to lead than the U.S. president, according to a new survey published by the Pew Research Center.
About 34 percent of those surveyed by Pew said they had confidence in Xi “to do the right thing regarding world affairs,” while 30 percent of those surveyed said the same about Putin. Trump received the confidence of 27 percent, according to Pew’s Spring 2018 Global Attitudes Survey released Monday.
Two western allies of the United States scored the highest: German Chancellor Angela Merkel received the confidence vote of 52 percent — the only leader garnering a majority — and French President Emmanuel Macron pulled 46 percent.
The survey asked about only those five leaders.
Although Trump trailed world leaders in generating personal confidence, 63 percent of surveyed said the world was better off with the United States as the leading power. Only 19 percent selected China for that role.
Those were the only two nations in that question.
Support for the U.S. was strongest in Japan, Sweden and Australia and least favorable in Russia, Tunisia, Argentina and Italy, according to the survey.
The Pew Center is a nonpartisan research organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. The survey covers 26,112 respondents in 25 countries from mid-May to mid-August.
In its release, Pew said the result underscores international “concerns about America’s role in world affairs.
“Large majorities say the U.S. doesn’t consider the interests of countries like theirs when making foreign policy decisions,” Pew said in its report. “Many believe the U.S. is doing less to help solve major global challenges than it once did. And there are signs that American soft power is waning as well: While the U.S. maintains its reputation for respecting individual liberty, fewer believe this than a decade ago.”
In Europe, Trump had his best ratings in the United Kingdom, where 28 percent of those served expressed confidence in him. Other responses include Germany, 10 percent; France, 9 percent, and Spain, 7 percent.
Trump’s lowest ratings were from Mexico, where only 6 percent expressed confidence in his leadership. Those surveyed in Canada gave him a 25 percent mark.
“One exception to this pattern is Israel,” the survey said. “After a year in which the Trump administration generated international controversy by moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, his positive rating jumped to 69%, up from 56% in 2017.”