As we advance deeper into our crisis-plagued 21st century, East-West conflict is driving headlines. But a closer look reveals that tensions between the West and the Global South, which broadly includes regions in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Pacific, will pose the most important threats and challenges over the next decade.
The received wisdom is that the next superpower conflict will pit America against China. But there is not, and will not be, a global cold war between the two countries. That is because their 21st-century interdependence will not be undone by 20th-century threats. It's true that trust between Washington and Beijing is in short supply. But there remains a consensus within America's government that the country still needs China to succeed. America's closest allies in Europe, Asia and the Americas want absolutely no part of a great-power conflict. Trade with China is too important to their futures.