New geopolitical risks are emerging: the period in which the US was the only global hegemonic power, for a decade or so following the collapse of the Soviet Union, is coming to an end. We live now in a world of traditional powers (US, Europe), emerging new powers (China, India) and some revisionist powers (Russia, Iran) that are challenging the international economic and security order that was designed by the West after WWII.
Among all these new powers the strongest is China, which is on pace to become the largest economy in the world and challenge the US not only in the economic, financial, and commercial realms but also in the military, security and geopolitical ones. Scholars and analysts are already predicting that this rivalry between the US and China will be the key geopolitical issue of our time, and will lead to a Cold War (if not, perhaps, eventually a hot war) between these two global powers.
Harvard scholar Graham Allison has written the book “Destined for War: Can America and China Avoid the Thucydides Trap?”. In the book, Allison shows that in 12 out 16 historical cases when a rising power has faced an existing power, war has eventually ensued as a result. The rising rivalry between the US and China has military and security dimensions but also economic, trading, investment, financial and technological ones.
To focus on its main aspects, we can distinguish between three legs of this emerging Cold War between the US and China: a trade war, a technological war and disruption in global supply chains.
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