Friday, February 15, 2019

Mapping Asia's Most Powerful Countries

According to the Lowy Institute the USA is the most powerful country in Asia. I'm not sure I agree that the United States is in Asia but I'm not going to argue that it exercises a lot of influence in the continent. According to the Institute's Asia Power Index the next most powerful country in Asia is China.

The Asia Power Index ranks 25 Asian countries and territories in terms of their power using eight different measures and 114 indicators. You can explore all the country rankings on the Asia Power Index Interactive map. The main eight measures of power visualized on the map are: economic, military, diplomatic influence, cultural influence, future trends, resilience, economic relationships and defense networks.

If you select one of these main power measures then the large country markers are resized to show each country's score. The map side-panel also lists all the countries by their rankings. Each of the main measures of power includes a number of individual sub-measures which you can also view on the map. For example the military capability measure includes sub-measures which allow you to see how the 25 different Asian countries rank for defense spending, armed forces, weapons & platforms, signature capabilities and Asian military posture.

Even though the Asian Power Index shows the USA as the most powerful country in Asia it is China that tops its rankings for future trends. China also tops the rankings for the measures for diplomatic influence and economic relationships. One of the reasons why China is now exercising so much influence in Asia is because of its investment in the region.

China has provided over $1.9 billion in aid to Pacific Island countries in the last ten years. You can view how much Pacific Island countries have received in aid from China on another interactive map from the Lowy Institute. Chinese Aid in the Pacific provides information on Chinese aid projects in the Pacific islands region since 2006.

The map uses scaled markers to indicate the amount of Chinese aid received by each Pacific Island country. The map sidebar also allows you to filter the amount of aid provided by type of aid and by the sector funded. If you zoom in on the map you can view details on the individual projects which have been funded by the Chinese, including details on the amount of aid provided and a description of each funded project.

No comments: