BEIJING  - More than 80 per cent of Chinese say they do not yet see their country as a "world power", according to a newspaper poll published Monday. The survey, in the Global Times daily, also said that more than half of respondents expressed a "positive view" of Beijing's relations with Washington, though most were pessimistic about ties with Tokyo. A total of 82.3 per cent of people surveyed said that China had yet to obtain world power status. The statistic made the front-page headline of the paper's English language edition - but in the Chinese-language version the story was relegated to a low mention on an inside page.

The Global Times, which has links to the ruling Communist Party, said the poll was released by its Global Poll Center.  The survey, carried out via telephone and the Internet, collected responses from 1,404 residents above the the age of 15 in seven cities, including Beijing and the financial hub of Shanghai. Public opinion polls are rare in China, where the Communist Party decries notions of what it calls "Western-style" democracy. Asked what was "the most significant event that helped elevate China's international standing" in 2012, 44.6 per cent of respondents cited the Chinese navy taking delivery of the country's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. A former Soviet vessel, it went into service in September in a symbolic milestone for China's growing military muscle.