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Report ranks China 6th in overall strength
By Zhao Huanxin (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-01-06 06:01

China ranks sixth globally in overall national power, a top think-tank concludes in a report released yesterday in Beijing.

"In terms of comprehensive national prowess, China stands among the secondary tier of world powers, greatly dwarfed by the United States, and behind Britain, Russia, France and Germany," Wang Ling, an associate researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said.

Wang's findings, published yesterday in the annual Reports on International Politics and Security, were the first of their kind measured from the perspective of econometrics, the book's editor-in-chief Wang Yizhou said.

Econometrics is defined as the application of mathematics and statistics to the study of economic and financial data.

The editor conceded that apart from the indisputable top ranking for the US, different gauging criteria might yield different ranking orders in the secondary tier.

Wang's ranking was made from 10 major countries, chosen by their economic, demographic and territorial sizes.

In determining the aggregate national strength, Wang took into consideration the economic power, military and diplomatic capacities and what she called "national power resources" of each country and governments' macro-control capacity.

These factors and their sub-indices were aggregated to give an overall "score" for each nation.

Calculated by this methodology, China scores 59, compared with 91 for the US and between 65 and 61 for Britain, Russia, France and Germany.

The criteria places China marginally ahead of Japan, which scores 58, Canada, 57, and South Korea, 53.

Specifically, China ranks fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively, in military and diplomatic capabilities, and gross domestic product (GDP), among the 10 countries including India.

The GDP ranking, based on statistics available three months ago, did not factor in the December 20 revision of the National Bureau of Statistics, which raised the size of China's economy by 16.8 per cent, ranking it fourth in the world.

In the area of government macro-control, China's proactive financial policies and steady fiscal measures have helped it to lead the pack in public finances, according to Wang.

The country's abundant human resources part of "national power resources" are also second to none in the world, Wang said.

But China's overall national power resources lag behind developed countries, partly because of insufficient investment in technological research and development, and weaker transportation and information technology infrastructure, she said.

Editor Wang Yizhou said the ranking results may vary significantly if nations are gauged according to different standards, such as education and the environment, which would put European countries top of the list.

Wang Ling also said she believed research with different emphasis would produce results with great differences.

For example, the Strategic Assessments Group of Rand Corporation, assesses power by GDP, population, defence spending and technology innovation. It estimated in its latest report that China held about 14 per cent of the global power, the same percentage as the European Union.

The World Economic Forum, however, ranked China 49th a drop of three places from the previous year among the 117 economies in its global competitiveness report for 2005-2006.

Also in the International Management Development World Competitiveness Yearbook 2005, China had fallen from 24th to 31st in the overall ranking.

(China Daily 01/06/2006 page1)

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