COVID-19 and the Reification of the US-China “Cold War” | The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus
Abstract: The implications of the pandemic for US-China relations are relevant for global peace and prosperity, well beyond the Asia-Pacific. Rather than joining forces against the pandemic, COVID-19 is among the factors that have widened the rift between the United States and China, bringing bilateral relations to their lowest level since Nixon and Kissinger’s overtures in 1971. In fact, US-China zero-sum interactions across the geopolitical, economic, technological and political domains have spiralled towards a dangerous race to the bottom. While it is too early to declare a US-China “Cold War”, China’s assertiveness and the US maximalist pushback are working in lockstep to reify the Cold War trope past the 2020 US presidential elections.