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Lowy Institute Report: Asia Power Index - Southeast Asia Is More Diplomatically Dynamic Than Ever.

Key findings in the 2023 Asia Power Index include:

1. China’s isolation exacted a heavy toll on its standing in 2022 but the country emerges more militarily capable than ever.

2. The United States remains on top of the Asia Power Index due largely to China’s setbacks. 3. The patchy power: India makes an uneven strategic contribution to the regional balance.

4. The clock is ticking on Japan’s “smart power” influence.

5. Countries in the region are still suffering from “long Covid”. Most are less resilient than prior to the pandemic.

6. Southeast Asia is more diplomatically dynamic than ever.

7. Russia, despite its legacy of defence ties with Asia, risks growing irrelevance.

The annual Asia Power Index — launched by the Lowy Institute in 2018 — measures resources and influence to rank the relative power of states in Asia.

The project maps out the existing distribution of power as it stands today, and tracks shifts in the balance of power over time. The Index ranks 26 countries and territories in terms of their capacity to shape their external environment — its scope reaching as far west as Pakistan, as far north as Russia, and as far into the Pacific as Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

The 2023 edition — which covers five years of data up to 2022 — is the most comprehensive assessment of the changing distribution of power in Asia to date.

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