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Humanities and Social Sciences Communications








Senior leaders in the US Department of Defense, as well as global affairs strategists and academics, have argued that China’s economic growth is associated with a dramatic increase in competition for resources and Chinese influence abroad. We aim to ascertain whether and where competition between great powers exists and to characterize China’s growing influence. Our main contribution is that we create a measure of competition among the United States, China, Russia, India, and France within African and Asian countries. We draw our data from a large media database that records news articles published since March 2015. We sum the quantity of articles published by local press agencies that discuss an international or regional powers’ engagement in an event located within the Asian or African countries’ borders, and we construct a measure of country-level competition among powers. To validate our country-level competition measure, we synthesize qualitative information from current government, think tanks, and academic documents on the presence and interests of foreign powers across subregions in Asia and Africa. From those narratives, we construct an additional subregional measure of competition. We compare our statistical country-level measure of competition to this narrative-based subregional measure of competition and find that they are correlated.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Mathematics and Statistics