(Bloomberg) -- The US has narrowed the gap with China in the number of diplomatic posts they both run, according to a new report, highlighting the nations’ race for influence around the world.

China has the most such offices of any country, with 274, according to the Global Diplomacy Index released by the Lowy Institute in Sydney on Sunday. The US has 271 after having eight fewer posts than the Asian nation in 2021.

China has a bigger presence in Africa, East Asia, Pacific Island countries and Central Asia. The US leads in Europe, the Americas and South Asia, according to the index.

Read More: Why US and China Compete for Sway in South Pacific: QuickTake

China has pushed in recent years to be seen as a key voice of the Global South, a reference to emerging-economy nations. President Xi Jinping has used the Belt and Road Initiative as a tool in that campaign, and his diplomats routinely criticize the US for its use of sanctions, perceived involvement in bloc politics and wars.

Xi has also pushed for the BRICS grouping to add new members in an effort to expand its clout, and for his nation to be seen a peacemaker on issues such as the war in Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Other findings in the report: 

  • Turkey has the third most posts in the world. That nation and India have added the most recently, with both opening 11 since 2021
  • Japan has 251 of the offices, fourth globally

(Updates with more context.)

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.