fredag 8. april 2022

Kevin Rudd: How to stop China and the US going to war

As images of destruction and death emerge from Ukraine, and refugees flee the country in their millions, the world’s attention is rightly focused on the horror of what many once thought an impossibility in the 21st century: a large-scale modern war in Europe. In this grim moment, however, it is all the more important to think through and coldly reassess the dangers presented by other potential conflicts that could be sparked by growing geopolitical tensions. The most significant among these is the risk of a war between the United States and China. The salutary lesson of our time is that this scenario is no longer unthinkable.

The 2020s now loom as a decisive decade, as the balance of power between the US and China shifts. Strategists of both countries know this. For policymakers in Beijing and Washington, as well as in other capitals, the 2020s will be the decade of living dangerously. Should these two giants find a way to coexist without betraying their core interests, the world will be better for it. Should they fail, down the other path lies the possibility of a war many times more destructive than what we are seeing in Ukraine today – and, as in 1914, one that will rewrite the future in ways we can barely imagine.