Comprehensive National Power

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Comprehensive National Power (CNP) (Chinese: 综合国力; pinyin: zōnghé guólì) is a putative measure, important in the contemporary political thought of the People's Republic of China, of the general power of a nation-state. CNP can be calculated numerically by combining various quantitative indices to create a single number held to measure the power of a nation-state.[citation needed] These indices take into account both military factors (known as hard power) and economic and cultural factors (known as soft power). CNP is notable for being an original Chinese political concept with no roots in either contemporary Western political theory, Marxism-Leninism, or pre-20th-century Chinese thinking.

There is a general consensus that the United States is the nation with the highest CNP and that mainland China's CNP ranks not only far behind the United States but also behind the United Kingdom, Russia, France and Germany. Although some Western assessments of China suggest that China will be able to match or overtake the United States in the 21st century, the most recent Chinese projections of CNP suggest that this outcome is unlikely[citation needed].

According to Reports on International Politics and Security published in 2009 in the Yellow Book of International Politics by the Social Sciences Center, a government-sponsored Chinese think-tank, the list of top 10 countries with the highest CNP score were as follows:

Rank Country Score
1  United States 604.732
2  Japan 467.152
3  Germany 395.272
4  Canada 377.155
5  France 369.031
6  Russia 366.228
7  China 359.67
8  United Kingdom 347.195
9  India 337.235
10  Brazil 266.125

Within Chinese political thought, the main goal of the Chinese state is to maximize China's CNP. The inclusion of economic factors and soft power measures within most CNP indices is intended to prevent China from making the mistake of the Soviet Union in overinvesting in the military at the expense of the civilian economy.

A fairly simplistic and effective index was developed by Chin-Lung Chang. It uses critical mass, economic capacity and military capacity. Due to its indicators, it is often repeatable and easy to define, making it comparable to the Human Development Index in understanding and reliability.[1]

A new book titled "Comprehensive National Power- A Model for India", which is a project of United Service Institution of India explains how CNP is calculated and also shows various methods of calculation with various tables, charts, diagrams. [2]

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