Comprehensive National Power

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Comprehensive National Power (CNP) (Chinese: 综合国力; pinyin: zōnghé guólì) is a measure of the general power of a nation-state. It is a putative measure, important in the contemporary political thought of the People's Republic of China from the 1980s onwards and first introduced into official documents in 1992.[1][2]

CNP can be calculated numerically by combining various quantitative indices to create a single number held to measure the power of a nation-state.[3] These indices take into account military, political, economic and cultural factors.[4][5]


Inspired by F. Clifford German, J. David Singer, Stuart Bremer and John Stuckey, A.F.K. Organski and Jacek Kugler, and Ray Cline's understanding and formulas for national power assessment.[6][7] It builds upon concepts such as superpower and regional power, as well as soft power, hard power and smart power.[8]

A 1995 definition of CNP refers to it as "the totality of a country's economic, military and political power in a given period. It signals the country's comprehensive development level and its position in the international system."[2]

There are a number of methods for calculating CNP devised by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Chinese Military Academy, Chinese Institute of Contemporary International Relations and independent Chinese scholars.[9]

National Strategic Resources[edit]

Michael Porter lists five major resources, that is, physical, human, infrastructure, knowledge and capital resources. Accordingly, the national strategic resources are divided into eight categories, with 23 indictors.[10] Those categories constitute CNP:[11]

  • Economic resources
  • Natural resources
  • Capital resources
  • Knowledge and Technology resources
  • Government resources
  • Military resources
  • International resources
  • Cultural resources


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.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bajwa 2008, p. 151.
  2. ^ a b Yongnian 1998, p. 192.
  3. ^ Bajwa 2008, p. 152.
  4. ^ Bajwa 2008, p. 153-157.
  5. ^ Yongnian 1998, p. 196.
  6. ^ Bhonsle 2016, p. 3-4.
  7. ^ Chuwattananurak 2016, p. 3.
  8. ^ Mishra 2017.
  9. ^ Singh, Gera & Dewan 2013, p. viii.
  10. ^ Bajwa 2008, p. 153.
  11. ^ Bajwa 2008, pp. 153–156.
  12. ^ Chang 2004.
Works cited
  • Bajwa, J.S (Summer 2008). "Defining Elements of Comprehensive National Power" (PDF). CLAWS Journal.
  • Bhonsle, Brig (Retd.) Rahul (March 2016), Strategies for Enhancing India's Comprehesive [sic] National Power (PDF), Vivekananda International Foundation
  • Chang, Chin Lung (2004), A Measure of National Power (PDF), Fo-guang University, archived from the original (PDF) on 27 September 2011
  • Chuwattananurak, Wuttikorn (June 2016), China's Comprehensive National Power and Its Implications for the Rise of China: Reassessment and Challenges (PDF), Paper presented at the CEEISA-ISA 2016 Joint International Conference at Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
  • Mishra, Lieutenant Colonel Malay (March 2017). "Unique Approach to Comprehensive National Power through the Lens of Kautilya's Arthashastra". United Service Institution of India. Retrieved 2021-09-04.
  • Singh, P. K.; Gera, Y. K.; Dewan, Sandeep (2013). Comprehensive National Power: A Model for India. Vij Books India Pvt Ltd. ISBN 978-93-81411-39-1.
  • Yongnian, Zheng (1998). "Comprehensive National Power: An Expression of China's New Nationalism". In Wang, Gungwu; Wong, John (eds.). China's Political Economy. World Scientific. ISBN 9789814496308 – via Google Books.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]