- India ranks 4th according to the Asia Power Index report preceded by the US, China and Japan
- China loses ground to the US while the latter retains hold via strengthening of diplomatic ties
The Post-covid era has witnessed the tumbling down of the power of Indo-pacific economic giants like that of China and India in addition to weakening their capacity to mould the external environment, as reported by the Lowy Institute.
The report also revealed that on one hand, the Asian countries saw a drop in influence, the US managed to inflate its power via enhanced diplomacy and held on to its position as the most influential nation in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Asian Power Index ranks 26 nations and territories. The Lowy Institute based out of Sydney revealed that China’s power declined considerably as it struggled with structural weakness with respect to its demographics and finances and became more isolated.
The report mentioned that China lost hold in half of the Index’s measure of power in 2021 ranging from diplomatic and cultural influence to economic capacity and future assets.
India, occupying the 4th spot in the region after the US, China and Japan, was among the critically impacted nations compared to its pre-covid growth paths. The report underlined that India witnessed a loss of ranking in crucial aspects like diplomatic influence and relationships on the economic front over the last year.
Nevertheless, India managed to retain the fourth position in additional measures of power viz. economic capability, military capacity, cultural influence and resilience. The US, however, continued to exert the maximum influence in Asia.
This was on account of President Joe Biden’s administration orchestrating improved diplomacy and swift recovery from the pandemic with the help of vaccines. The report said that the US challenged the existing regional downward trend while registering its first annual gain in terms of comprehensive power in all the four editions of the Asia Power Index since 2018.
Along with this, it also saw a significant rise in diplomatic influence this year despite initiating from a low point laid down by the former Trump administration.
All-inclusive, Washington excelled in six of the Index’s eight measures in 2021, up from four in 2020. Allies of the US in the region and primary balancing powers like India have been dependent on the US economy more than ever along with the readiness to stain a military and strategic equalizer in response to China’s rise.
The report also hinted at significant risk of war on account of the region’s heightening security uncertainties, deepening hostilities, the competition between China and the US in the existence of numerous potential flashpoints.