For us, western people, the english is obviously easier to learn. In fact, we don't have to learn a new alphabet
hahaha out of all the languages in the world i think chinese is the hardest to learn. english would have to be the easiest because the limited amount of alphabet it uses and its phonetic way of spelling. with chinese, you just have to memorize all 50 thousand characters. there is no alphabet.
I would think that Japanese would be a little harder to learn than English to westerners. Our grammar is not that complex - it's quite loose, but it isn't newspeak, so it's ad hoc.
Out of all the languages in the world Chinese would be the hardest for a person from a western culture because it uses 3000 characters each with a different single morpheme rather than 26 characters that represent sounds. Plus it's tonal, which is a feature western languages lack.
The easiest for a western person I would think is Esperanto, since it's syntax is clean, it has cognates with Indo-European words, and the grammar is simple. At least, this is what I hear about it.
Actually, for learning Japanese, Chinese background is undoubtedly advantageous. I also thought my Chinese background should make things a lot easier, it did, but not as much as I thought. And yes, it even created some problems that westerners would not encounter.
And oh, before I go on, Japanese was not developed from Chinese, they just took the writing system. Their spoken language was already there and stayed pretty independent from Chinese influences, aside from vocabs taken from Chinese into their language.
Anyhow, I think the biggest problem with Chinese people learning Japanese is the numerous readings associated with one single kanji; even though they don't have to learn how to write kanji aside from the Japanese modified ones, they still have to learn the different pronunciations on top of different usages of some kanji from their Chinese counterparts. My professor said that, since Japanese took Chinese readings of kanji throughout history to turn them into Japanese, the readings include Japanese versions of the old ways of pronunciation that modern Chinese does not even use anymore. That plus the Japanese native words they associated with a Kanji, it turns into a mess for Chinese people to read T_T.
Personally, I had a bigger problem with having to write a kanji the Japanese way than the ways of reading a kanji. That you can just memorize, but having to change the way I write a kanji gets to me for some reason.
Anyhow, I actually also think English is easier than Japanese. It is fairly straight forward when compared to Japanese or Chinese. Maybe it's because of the fact that I am Chinese, but I think Chinese is actually easier than Japanese in terms of grammar (although it might be harder for westerners in regards to the number of characters and the tones).