A Pacific war, sparked by Taiwan, would be a bloody cataclysm, and no one would be well served by it.
Australia doesn’t have to choose. On Sep 16th, 2021 Australia effectively chose. Following years of sharply deteriorating relations with Beijing, Australia announced to deploy nuclear-powered submarines.
Cold War jargon to make China strong enough to fight against the United States, a process some have dubbed Cultural Revolution 2.0.
If Biden fails, then China can pick up the pieces. If Biden starts to deliver in any of its three areas, Beijing’s bargaining position could become weaker and the US might be unwilling to talk and compromise with a losing China.
If the Quad seeks to keep China and Russia from accomplishing their goals in Asia, they will have to play a shrewd, long game. This is Burma and it is unlike any land you know about.
In a turnaround, China is starting to lose the Covid-19 Cold War. Is the brute force of the authoritarian, centralised state no match after all for the innovative agility of a free capitalist society?
This really does have the potential to be an old-fashioned, Cold War-style face-off. Ukraine and Russia are heading to the point where the brakes come off and no one is in control.
It is a new kind of Cold War, but not one based on ideology like the first incarnation. It is a war for international legitimacy, a struggle for hearts and minds and money in the very large part of the world not aligned to the US or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.