Power Rangers
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Power Rangers

Data reveals a major power balance shift in the Asia-Pacific, writes Lowy Institute research fellow Bonnie Bley.

Power can be judged in many ways. If the number of supercomputers is any indication of technological prowess, China’s 202 would dwarf Japan’s 35. If trade (export of goods and services) as a percentage of GDP is any indication of geo-economic vulnerability, then India’s comfortable (The Economist says “sluggish”) 40 per cent pales to Singapore’s 318 per cent. And perhaps Australian investments in New Zealand, almost threefold what it invests in all 10 ASEAN countries, signal where its closest commercial and cultural ties lie. Or take Indonesia’s economy, projected by 2030 to overtake both Japan and Russia, hinting at future players in a rapidly changing region.

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Areas of expertise: Diplomatic networks; cultural influence and soft power; Index methodologies; Japan