Asia Power Index 2021: India ranks fourth most powerful country in Asia
According to a report by Lowy Institute Asia Power Index 2021, India has surged its rank and has emerged as the fourth most powerful country in Asia. It has been ranked fourth among the 26 countries and territories in Indo-Pacific for comprehensive power.
The report further adds that India performs best in the future resources measure, where it finishes behind only the United States and China. However, it has its third position in Asia’s third-largest economy largely due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.
It is noteworthy that not only India but the pandemic has driven down the comprehensive power of almost all nations in 2020-21, weakening their capacity to respond and shape their external environment, the report reads.
According to the index, both Tokyo and New Delhi now both fall just short of the major power threshold of 40 points and are ranked as middle powers.
India also lagged in economic diplomacy, dropping one place to finish eighth behind Thailand in the measure of the economic relationship.
The report has also pointed out that despite being the hard-hitting country due to COVID-19, in comparison to its growth path prior to the pandemic, India has boosted its resilience and military capability in 2021. In terms of points rated by the Index, in 2021, India had the greatest gains in ‘resilience’ (+1.7) and has improved in ‘military capability’ (+0.5). However, it lost on the parameters of ‘cultural influence’ (‘7.9), ‘economic relationships’ (‘5.1), ‘diplomatic influence’ (‘2.4), ‘defence networks’ (‘2.1) and ‘economic capability’ (‘1.3) as compared to last year.
As compared to Asian powers, the US gained more influence in the continent this year due to President Joe Biden’s administration brokering better diplomatic relationships and a speedy recovery from the pandemic with the help of vaccinations.
According to the report, the US defied the prevailing regional downward trend to register its first annual gain in comprehensive power in four editions of the Asia Power Index since 2018.
Overall, Washington topped six of the Index’s eight measures in 2021, up from four last year.
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