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ASEAN grows dynamic while China, Japan wane: Asia Power Index

China's COVID isolation exacted 'heavy toll' on regional standing, Lowy says

Pedestrians in Bangkok, Thailand, which is considered a middle-power country, according to the Lowy Institute's Asia Power Index 2023. Southeast Asia has become "more diplomatically dynamic than ever," the institute says. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

JAKARTA -- Countries in Southeast Asia are "more diplomatically dynamic than ever," while China reels from its zero-COVID policy and Japan's "smart power" influence in the region continues to wane, according to the Lowy Institute's Asia Power Index 2023.

The Australia-based think tank released on Sunday its latest semi-annual index measuring the influence of 26 countries across the Indo-Pacific region. The U.S., China, Japan, India and Russia, in that order, have been the top five powerful nations since the index was launched in 2018.

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