The world community can heave a sigh of relief that there isn’t going to be a new cold war between the United States and China. A Cold War needs two blocs: while Washington is unable to cobble together a bloc, Beijing is disinterested in one, lacking a bloc mentality. But isolating China in the international community is easier said than done, as the US-led globalisation is replaced by a China-led globalisation.
Nor is there any prospect of a Sino-American hot war. What is unfolding instead is a standoff between the Trump administration and Beijing in a geopolitical void whose trajectory will now largely depend on the outcome of the presidential election in the US in November.
The world community at large is not party to this standoff except for just two ‘Indo-Pacific’ maverick exceptions that have got on to the US bandwagon — Australia and India.
Asia itself remains unscathed. Japan has taken care not to provoke China. (See my blog Japan-US alliance gets less intimate.) The ASEAN countries refuse to take sides between the Trump administration and China. In fact, the ASEAN has just ensured that Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement, which involves both China and Japan will be signed within this year,