Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Asia’s 0.000007% Most Powerful

Foreign Policy magazine ( has just released a list of the world’s 500 most powerful people. Click here for a link to the article. Not surprisingly, the US leads in terms of numbers of individuals named. Non-Japan Asian countries contribute 79 names. The chart below breaks out the nationality of that elite group.

A few interesting notes:
  • Not surprisingly, China leads the region. The individuals named are a combination of Communist party officials and leaders of the largest state-owned enterprises. Of course, such a segregation is a virtual redundancy.
  • India’s entries are a very diverse lot, and includes politicians, industrialists, spiritual leaders and heads of international charities.
  • For South Korea, besides UN chief Ban Ki-moon and two top Samsung executives, the others are government officials.
  • Except for the head of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the SAR’s most powerful are business people. Duh.
  • The two Singapore individuals named are the heads of the city state’s government-related investment companies – GIC and Temasek. How these two people, and not Lee Kwan Yew and his son Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, were named by FP is somewhat bewildering.
  • Ditto for Thailand. The person named is the chairman of CP Group, not Thaksin Shinawatra – the country’s puppet master.
  • Any guesses as to who North Korea’s entry is? No peeking at the answer.

Let the debate rage.

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