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India has become the fourth most powerful country in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the Sydney-based Lowy Institute's Asia Power Index for 2020, which ranks 26 nations and territories.
India was on the fourth spot in the index after Japan. However, the economic growth potential India lost during a pandemic gave an advantage to China.
New Delhi ceded strategic ground to Beijing, reported Bloomberg.
Russia, Australia, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia round out the top 10. Lowy estimates India will reach 40 per cent of China's economic output by 2030, compared with the 50 per cent estimate a year ago.
"It's certainly delayed India's arrival as the great power in the region. And it also means that India will be quite distracted by the development challenges and by the new poverty rate, with more newly impoverished people in South Asia," Herve Lemahieu, study's research chief and director of Lowy's Asian Power and Diplomacy Program told the media.
Although the US obtained the top position as the most powerful country influencing the Asia-Pacific, China seemed to have wielded more power in terms of its economy rebounding from the virus and is the only large economy forecast to recover in 2020. This shaky recovery is supposed to benefit the neighbouring countries.
According to the media report, America's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has tarnished the country's reputation, and its 10-point lead on China two years ago has been halved.
Along with it, multiple trade disputes and President Donald Trump's moves to withdraw from multilateral deals and agencies have been other factors resulting in diminished reputation. The study reported that the U.S economy could take until 2024 to recover to pre-pandemic levels.
As many as 34.74 crores (347.4 million) people in the Asia-Pacific region could fall below the ₹403.49 (USD 5.5) a day poverty line because of the pandemic, according to the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research.
Overall, Asia's economy, which was assured to become larger than the rest of the world economy combined in 2020, now faces 'a perfect storm of public health, economic and strategic challenges' due to the pandemic, the Lowy report said.
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