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The Chinese may have a nationalistic reputation, but when asked to pick their ideal country, more than a third are looking to the U.S., according to a survey by advertising group WPP.

Around 35 percent of Chinese picked the U.S. as their ideal country today, more than any other country. However, 42 percent expected their own country will have taken the title in just 10 years, the survey found. It's a stark contrast to the results in the U.S. and Britain, where respondents mostly chose their own country as ideal, both now and a decade from now.

Chinese also view the U.S. as the world's most powerful nation, more so than most Americans, the survey found, with 80 percent of Chinese selecting it, compared with only 66 percent of Americans.

Only 12 percent of Chinese see their own country as the most powerful nation today, less than the 18 percent of Americans who view China that way, the survey said.

But Chinese are also expecting this power differential to change, with 44 percent expecting their own country will become the most powerful within a decade, in line with the 45 percent of Chinese who expect the U.S. will remain the most powerful, the survey found.

"They're determined to see this change happen. They justify their optimism with the example of the past 30 years when extraordinary economic growth helped lift over 200 million Chinese people into the middle class," WPP said.

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