“China is a poor country with only $4,000 per capita income,” Yu Yongding, a Chinese top economist and former member of the central bank’s monetary policy committee said in an interview in China. “To talk and think about China to rescue countries with $40,000 per capita incomes is ridiculous.”
The article (mostly on Europe) is here. I can imagine a minimum of three theories of geopolitical influence:
1. You get it by having a nice country and it is then more or less automatic, possibly proportional to size as well.
2. It is hard to get in any case, as most countries do what they want anyway and are not much susceptible to outside influence.
3. Geopolitical influence is proportional to how much a government invests in it.
To the extent #3 is true, it does not bode well for the future of the welfare state.