How does the pandemic impact the competition between the United States and China?

An Issue Brief, by Ambassador Philippe COSTE.  

Tensions between the two competitors are escalating, China’s situation vis-à-vis the United States is likely to strengthen and global governance is even more severely lacking than in the past, calling for more of European contruction. 

Download the French text 

► Not only the two powers which hold in their hands a good part of the fate of the planet show themselves little penetrated by their responsibilities towards multilateral insttutions, but everything happens as if the latter have become the closed field of a struggle for influence between the two superpowers. 

► Nevertheless the appreciation of a China that would have gained a relative advantage needs to be qualified. Before the “mask diplomacy”, the Europeans were divided with regard to China: a little wary but very interested in continuing to do business with this country of cocagne. Since then, the proportions have been reversed: Europeans are still interested in doing business but are clearly more suspicious.  

► It is only more urgent that Europe, mobilizes itself even more energetically to call the world to reason. Obviously, between the disputes over Brexit and those over financial solidarity between countries of the North and the South, and with the overwhelming short-term deadlines which beset European governments, the task is not easy, to say the least. But that is not a reason not to try it, with faith and persistency, as it is the only possible way.

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