Rapid changes in the world order have marked a great shift from unipolarity to multipolarity as many centres of power have emerged in the contemporary era. America being an established superpower has been facing Thucidydes Trap or Rising China’s predicament. The US is worried about the growing power of China and has designed a containment strategy against China as it had designed one for USSR during cold war times. At present, China has started multiple economic ventures in form of BRI and CPEC and using soft power, China is trying to reach America in various domains. As a result, both countries have locked their horns in an unannounced strategic competition known US-China Competition. This competition has many fallouts and impacts on the global political order.
China and US competition has intensified in many ways. First, China is busy building a series of artificial islands in the South China Sea and this venture is known as the Pearl of Strings. Moreover, China aspires to use these islands as naval bases in coming times. However, the US considers these steps against International laws and a hindrance to free and open sea lanes. This leads to strategic competition between both countries. Second, the US and its allies have formed formal alliances in the form of AUKUS and QUAD. These are termed by China as the Asian version of NATO. Thus, this sort of strategic race between the US and its allies against China is deemed a threat by China to the peace of the Indo-Pacific and the region at large. Third, China is expanding trade ties with many countries across the world via BRI and CPEC. Besides, China has decided to join the Transpacific Partnership Program. The USA and its European allies have already announced B3W (Build Back Better World) through the platform of G7 to counter the BRI of China. This also makes the strategic rivalry between both states quite manifest.
Competition between both countries has also obvious global ramifications. These could be seen in the following important ways. The first impact of strategic competition is that regional alliances in Asia are gradually transforming. America has taken India, Japan and other European nations such as UK and Australia as its allies in QUAD and AUKUS. In order to balance the equation, China has further enhanced ties with Pakistan and Russia. Moreover, Pakistan has diversified its foreign policy and with help of China and Pakistan can ameliorate as well as advance its ties with Russia and Iran. Furthermore, America is trying to turn South-East Asian states against China to keep the rise of China in check, however, China has developed strong economic ties with them and China is now an important member of Regional Comprehensive and Progressive Cooperation, an economic alliance of fifteen states. Hence, this US effort might turn futile. Another obvious impact of this competition is the trade war between US and China. Moreover, the global order is shifting from unipolarity to multipolarity as different states are making assertions and China has emerged as a new economic giant in the contemporary period.
In the same way, it has become quite difficult for the US to engage itself in Asia in the wake of a pullout from Afghanistan after a protracted 20-year war. This withdrawal has considerably mitigated US influence in Asia and China’s role has become crucial as a regional power. Apart from this, small Asian nations have also tried to assert their strategic and economic position according to their share of influence. In short, changes in world order are quite pronounced over the period of the last few decades. The momentum is shifting towards Asia as this century is known as Asian Century and a decline has been seen in US global power. Moreover, the unannounced cold war between US-China has many global consequences. However, time will tell in which direction the global ship will sail and which power blocs succeed in their endeavours towards preserving the current world order or bringing about a complete overhaul.
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