Paris—Flaring tensions between Washington and Beijing are raising the prospect of new global diplomatic and economic fault lines, with consequences that analysts say could pose unfamiliar challenges to world leaders.
From an escalating trade war to an influence struggle in the South China Sea, “we’ve entered a period of strong and long-term rivalry between the United States and China,” said Alice Ekman of the French Institute of International Relations.
President Donald Trump’s combative stance, highlighted by the new round of import tariffs imposed this week, has upended decades of cautious statecraft in the West aimed at coaxing China to join the global order.
“A paradigm shift in America’s China policy is under way, with major implications for the world’s most important bilateral relationship and, more importantly, for global security,” said Brahma Chellaney of the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi.
The fallout could prove long-lasting, requiring countries in Europe, Asia and Africa to rethink how they engage with two diametrically opposed superpowers.