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

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]


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


  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

Further reading