As of 1980, China was the most influential player in just one country: Albania. Now, China is the leading power across most of sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia and is catching up to the U.S. in its own hemisphere.
What we’re reading: That’s according to a new report from the University of Denver and the Atlantic Council that seeks to measure the influence countries have on each other, and in so doing offers a dramatic portrait of China’s rise.
The authors took the quantifiable aspects of two countries’ trade, security and diplomatic relationships (the value of goods traded, aid provided, arms transferred, etc.) and then looked at the balance in terms of how dependent one country was on another.
They note that some aspects of influence — the funding of proxy forces, say, or the strength of cultural influences — aren’t captured in this data.
What they do capture is a clear trend over the last three decades: America’s global influence has stagnated, Europe’s has waned, and China’s has rapidly expanded.