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Pardee Institute presents at Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) speaker series

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Pardee Institute for International Futures

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In August 2021, Pardee Institute Director Jonathan Moyer and Research Associate Collin Meisel presented at the Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) speaker series. The presentation was titled “China-US Competition: Measuring Global Influence." Analysis focused on China-US competition globally with a particular focus on trends and relationships in Southeast Asia by introducing the Formal Bilateral Influence Capacity (FBIC) Index, a quantitative measure of multidimensional influence between pairs of states from 1960 through 2020. The FBIC Index attempts to capture the size of interactions, as well as the reliance that one country has on others across economic, political, and security dimensions. The combination of these factors is influence capacity or relational power. Analysis shows that Chinese influence has grown in both size and reach around the world, reinforcing and contextualizing experts’ understanding of this changing international system. From the end of the Cold War to the present, Chinese influence has cut into or supplanted Western countries’ sway in every geographic region. To the extent that the United States and the West have been caught off guard by the rise of China, the “game” is not over. The United States still has many opportunities to counterbalance the expansion of Chinese influence through greater bilateral engagements and increased support for regional integration, policy prescriptions which this analysis unpacks.