yu63_FREDERIC J. BROWNAFP via Getty Images_us china trade FREDERIC J. BROWNAFP via Getty Images

The Wars of the New World Order

Recent trends and developments – from the wars in Gaza and Ukraine to the US-China competition – may well herald a fundamental global geopolitical reckoning. The specter of a sustained clash between the West and its rivals – especially China, Russia, and the Islamic world – looms large.

NEW DELHI – The crises, conflicts, and wars that are currently raging highlight just how profoundly the geopolitical landscape has changed in recent years, as great-power rivalries have again become central to international relations. With the wars in Gaza and Ukraine exacerbating global divisions, an even more profound geopolitical reconfiguration – including a shift to a new world order – may well be in the works.

These two wars heighten the risk of a third, over Taiwan. No one – least of all Chinese President Xi Jinping – can watch the United States transfer huge amounts of American artillery munitions, smart bombs, missiles, and other weaponry to Ukraine and Israel without recognizing that American stockpiles are being depleted. For Xi, who has called Taiwan’s incorporation into the People’s Republic a “historic mission,” the longer these wars continue, the better.

US President Joe Biden understands the stakes and is now seeking to defuse tensions with China. Notably, after sending a string of cabinet officials to Beijing, Biden’s planned summit talks with Xi on the sidelines at the November 15-17 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in San Francisco is set to steal the spotlight. And he and his G7 partners have stressed that they are seeking to “de-risk” their relationship with China, not “decouple” from the world’s second-largest economy.