The 2017 Global Peace Index (GPI) report is out and China has been ranked 116th out of 163 countries/territories in terms of peacefulness, moving up four spots since last year, putting it just two places behind the United States (114th).
The index, produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, covers 99.7% of the world’s population and uses 23 indicators across three key domains: Societal Safety and Security, Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict, and Militarization.
China, sitting right between El Salvador (115th) and Guatemala (117th), fared worst in Societal Safety and Security, scoring a 2.5 out of 5 (1 being the most peaceful and 5 the least), a 2 in Militarization, and a 1.9 in Domestic and International Conflict, bringing its final score to 2.24. Of the 23 indicators, it scored a full 5 marks on nuclear and heavy weapons, a 4 on both perceptions of criminality and political terror, and a 3.6 on terrorism impact.
Two of the factors with the highest impact on these stats are the ever-present tensions in the South China Sea and China’s large army and military expenditure, the latter of which is set to jump to $233 billion by 2020, a 60% increase in 2016’s budget, despite a cut in troop levels by 300,000 set to be completed before the end of 2017.
On the bright side, China also ranked 151st in the economic cost of violence by percentage of the GDP, albeit still spending $712.6 billion dollars as of 2016, 3.5% of the country’s GDP. The United States, in comparison, ranked 78th in this metric, spending 8.6% of its GDP or $1.6 trillion. In total, violence costs us 12.6% of the world GDP, coming up to $5.40 per day per person globally. That’s $1,953 per person per year.
The ultimate purpose of the GPI is to encourage the building of “Positive Peace” — a holistic framework of the key attitudes, institutions and structures which build peace in the long term — by illustrating in detail how the world continues to spend enormous resources on creating and containing violence but very little on peace. Take a look at their interactive map to find other countries’ figures and how they fare on a global scale.
Here are the 11 most peaceful countries:
2) New Zealand
6) Czech Republic
And the 11 least peaceful:
4) South Sudan
8) Sudan/Central African Republic
10) DR Congo
Find the full report here. Or just check out some of the highlights.
By Meghan Williams
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