US-China Competition

World is marking a gradual shift from uni-polarity into multi-polarity. The US being the sole hegemon of the contemporary world order is facing ‘Rising China’s Dilemma’. In this wake, the country has devised a ‘containment strategy’ for China just as it had one for the USSR during Cold War. China might not be equal to the US in all terms but is gradually reaching it. This whole scenario leads both the countries into unannounced strategic competition which lays clear impact on the global order.

Manifestations of Strategic Competition between the US and China
These manifestations are obvious in the following ways;

  • China has built an artificial island in the South China Sea. It is believed that in future China will use it as its naval base. The US Naval vessels while patrolling in the Pacific Ocean entered into territorial zone of the Chinese artificial island. Chinese government has warned the US of severe consequences for violating its territorial sea. The US however says that the law of territorial sea doesn’t apply in artificial lands. The issue remains the latest manifestation of strategic competition between both the countries.
  • China is in dispute with several South East Asian countries including Vietnam, Philippines and Japan over the ownership of islands in the South China Sea. This dispute is exploited by the US by supporting the South East Asian states for their rightful claims on the islands. China stresses the US to stay away from their internal matters. This brings another manifestation of US-China strategic competition.
  • Where US is in effort to contain China, there the latter is expanding its trade links to the Middle East, Europe and Africa after South East Asia. Capturing the trade route in Arabian Sea via Gwadar Port of Pakistan, China is playing the strategy to seek a hold and expel the US interference in Asian and African matters.

Impact on Global Order
The impacts of this strategic competition include;

  • Regional alliances in Asia are shifting. The US is taking India as its ally to counter balance China. While China is allying Pakistan with it to equalize the US-India entente.
  • Russia, China and Pakistan are getting closer to each other in their relationships. This can lead to the formation of an important and powerful alliance in Asia.
  • US is trying to keep the South East Asian states allied to it against China. This task however seems difficult in future as these countries need good economic ties with China.
  • Global order is transforming into multi-polarity from uni-polarity.
  • US is finding it uneasy to keep itself engaged in Asia in the distant future without a sufficient cause.
  • Smaller Asian states are gaining importance depending on their peculiar weightage in each of the undeclared new alliances.

China and US strategic competition is real but not fully apparent yet. Both the countries cooperate where it is required. The strong competition will be seen once US gets its attention deviated from the reviving Russia. The fear of China to overtake the US is genuine but possible only in long term.