US-China conflict to impact smaller countries as proxies

Published February 15, 2021
Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago John Mearsheimer has expressed fears that the Cold War between China and the US would have consequences for the smaller countries. — Photo courtesy University of Chicago website
Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago John Mearsheimer has expressed fears that the Cold War between China and the US would have consequences for the smaller countries. — Photo courtesy University of Chicago website

LAHORE: Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago John Mearsheimer has expressed fears that the Cold War between China and the US would have consequences for the smaller countries that can be turned into proxies for the two bigger powers of the world.

He was in conversation with journalist Ejaz Haider in an online session titled “Why a Cold War between China and the US is Inevitable” during the Afkar-e-Taza ThinkFest on Sunday.

He said there could be proxy wars like Vietnam during the USSR-US Cold War.

Talking about the role of South Asia in the cold war, Mr Mearsheimer said, “I think there is a likelihood that Pakistan would side with China and the US would try to peel off Pakistan from China in the emerging Cold War. The Indians would ally with the US. The Americans would try to get Myanmar in its fold”.

‘When asked what would be the most likely point for the confrontation of the world powers, he pointed out the East China Sea which could be the most likely point of confrontation between China and the US in future. With the heating up of the Cold War, he expressed fears for the use of a nuclear arsenal too that would be devastating for the world.

About the confrontation in Central Asia, Prof Mearsheimer said the Russians, over time, would switch sides and they might go to ally with the US against China as the latter was a greater threat to Russia, compared to the US. He hoped that China and the US would cooperate in climate change and pandemic situations.

To the question of world politics and the centres of power, he said “I think we live in a multipolar world. Since 2016, as Trump was coming into White House, the world moved from unipolarity to multipolarity. In that multipolar world, China and the US are two great powers followed by Russia. The Russians also have a great power but it’s the US-China confrontation that have influence on many other smaller countries”.

Published in Dawn, February 15th, 2021

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