Beijing: Despite China`s rise as a global economic power, many Chinese believe that their country is still a developing one and may take 20 years to for it catch up with the US.
Two separate surveys in seven cities revealed that 78 percent of the interviewees feel that China is a developing country and not yet a developed one.
Nearly half of them believe it will take 20 years to catch up with the US, though it was reported that China has overtaken Japan to be the world`s second-largest economy, official Global Times daily reported.
They also said the income-disparity issue will remain the biggest challenge to social stability in the next 10 years.
The surveys carried out in Beijing, Shanghai, Guanzhou, Chengdu, Shenyang, Xi`an and Changsha by the Global Poll Centre.
Zhang Shengjun, vice dean of the Institute of International Relations at Beijing Normal University said the results reflect a sober and rational judgment of China`s status despite the adulation of the foreign media.
China`s Gross Domestic Growth (GDP) in 2009 stood at USD 4.9 trillion and the per capita GDP was just USD 3,700, far behind developed countries.
In terms of the challenges to social stability, income disparity and corruption were the top two elements the public considered the most challenging to social stability in the next 10 years.
The social security system, ethnic separatism, economic slowdown and housing price were other concerns expressed in the poll, the newspaper said.
However, the public feels China`s foreign influence is growing. About 76 percent believe that China now has a say in international issues.
Most of those interviewed were confident about China`s military strength and 76 percent said China could protect itself against foreign attacks, while 66 percent expressed concerns about China`s security situation stating the country faces military threats from major powers.
The public tend to support the country`s wishes to set up overseas military bases, with 47 percent backing the idea.
About 55 percent of the participants believe that Taiwan island and the mainland will be united in 20 years, while the well educated and those with a high income said it would happen after 40 years.