- China scored 76.1 points in 8 areas including economy, military, diplomacy, and defense network, ranking second.
- United States maintained the top spot in four areas, including military and defense nets, its scores dropped in all seven areas.
- India ranks fourth in this Asian Power Index.
The Lowy Institute, an Australian think tank, released its 2020 “Asia Power Index” on Sunday, which shows that the United States is still the most influential country in Asia. However, in the face of China’s rise and improper handling of the COVID-19 epidemic, America’s global prestige has been declining.
The Lowy Institute for International Policy pointed out that China scored 76.1 points in eight areas, including economy, military, diplomacy, and defense network, ranking second. That’s according to a report by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
It is worth noting that China’s overall score in 2020 has increased by 0.2 points, from 75.9 in 2019. Meanwhile, the United States has dropped by 2.9 points, from 84.5 in 2019. The overall score in 2020 is 81.6 points.
In 2018, the score gap between China and the United States was 10.1 points. In 2020, the gap between the two countries has been reduced to half.
China’s total retail sales of consumer goods in September increased by 3.3%. Although the United States maintained the top spot in four areas, including military and defense nets, its scores dropped in all seven areas. Especially in terms of economy, the score has dropped significantly, due to the China-US trade war and the reduction in US investment and trade in the Asia-Pacific region.
In contrast to the United States, China’s economic strength continues to rise, and factors such as the increase in defense budgets have also led to an increase in military strength. At present, China has occupied first place in the economy for two consecutive years.
The Lowy Institute for International Policy pointed out that the rapid recovery of China’s economy will further consolidate the country’s economic center position in the region, while the importance of US economic influence in Asia will continue to decline.
China’s Diplomatic Influence Index Declines
China is not the leader in diplomatic influence projects. The data in this report shows that experts believe that Japan’s international stage index has surpassed China in 2020.
According to expert analysis, China’s “wolf war diplomacy” strategy, and the use of economic oppression to intimidate some countries in the Asia-Pacific region, have caused China’s diplomatic influence in the Asia-Pacific region to decline.
In addition, the new coronavirus epidemic also has a negative impact on China’s diplomatic influence index.
Herve Lemahieu, Roy’s director of the Asian Power and Diplomacy Program, predicted in a report that if current trends are followed, China is expected to tie the United States’ overall index in the Asia-Pacific region by 2030.
However, as China’s internal problems surface one by one, it is difficult for China to surpass the United States and it is difficult for China to lead by a large margin.
COVID-19 Severely Hits India’s Economic Potential
India ranks fourth in this Asian Power Index. Expert analysis believes that the new coronavirus epidemic has severely hit India’s economic development potential. Lowy’s team believes that after experiencing the impact of the new coronavirus epidemic, it is still “unrealistic” to predict that India will be able to keep pace with China in terms of overall strength in the next few years.
Roy’s data show that the new coronavirus epidemic has further widened the power gap between China and India. Lemahieu predicts that India’s economic output will reach 40% of China’s in 2030. He wrote in the report, “India must understand that they must take decades to become a superpower.”