This week’s virtual meeting between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping has reminded us again that the two big powers hold between them the fate of our world.
Can they work together? Have we entered a new Cold War? Will it turn into outright conflict?
The G2 matters. Whether it is climate change, international trade, or the future of world peace, the US and China are pivotal. The two superpowers have greater sway than the G8, the G20, AUKUS, the Quad, ASEAN, APEC or any other multilateral acronym we may think of.
Not to ignore the importance of those bodies and alliances, nor diminish the power of individual states — especially the likes of Russia, India, Japan, France, Germany, and the UK — but we are all pulled along in the wake of Beijing and Washington.
In recent years the geopolitical temperature has risen. Rhetoric is more heated; threat and counter-threat; military build-up — and increasingly there is talk of war.
How do we understand this age? For many,…