The world will exit this crisis weaker. And the two main powers too. The image and reputation of the US is under pressure. So is the Chinese perception. This crisis is leaving very few untouched.
As per Lafontaine : “Ils n’en mouraient pas tous mais tous étaient frappés” i.e. “Not all of them died but all were struck”
The China-US relationship has focused attention for long but in past few years this has led to new analysis : Cold War 2.0, Thucydides’ trap, Cold Peace (thanks David Baverez for this one) and now tactical stabilisation as per Kevin Ruud.
Whatever direction they choose will have a disproportionate impact on the “After”.
Both seem to ignore multilateralism. And carry their flag high. They prefer bilateralism and unilateralism supported by strong PR - propaganda ? - efforts targeting both domestic and international audience. Thus adding to the pain of the global system. At a moment where both could with even small gestures send signals that could change course in a positive direction. Europe and others can of course step up but we should not fool ourselves. A weaker world can’t afford two powers on a collision course even a “controlled one”. Both can and know how to make a difference ! Time is running.