Today’s International Herald Tribune runs some interesting statistics regarding Chinese national ambitions and directions.

Over all…Chinese satisfaction with the country soared in recent years, according to a survey of Chinese adults after the onset of civil unrest over Tibet and before the May 12 earthquake in southwestern China.

“This is clearly a nation that sees itself as ascendant, and that leads to tremendous satisfaction with the way things are going nationwide, even though the people are still struggling on an individual level,” said Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, which conducted the survey.

Eighty-six percent of the Chinese surveyed said they were content with the country’s direction, up from 48 percent in 2002 and a full 25 percentage points higher than the next highest country, Australia. And 82 percent of Chinese were satisfied with their national economy, up from 52 percent.