COVID-19 has contained China’s power in the Indo-Pacific region, and the risk of war is “significant”

© Reuters. People wearing protective masks walk on the street after a new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case appeared in Shanghai, China on December 1, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song

Melbourne (Reuters)-The Lowe Institute said in a report on Sunday that the coronavirus pandemic has weakened China’s strength in the Indo-Pacific region, and the growing security uncertainty in the region has brought “significant” Risk of war.

The Sydney-based foreign policy think tank stated that the United States’ allies in the region and major counter-balance powers such as India have never relied on the US’s ability and willingness to maintain military and strategic balance in response to China’s rise.

At the same time, Beijing is trying to discourage Southeast Asian countries from joining the US alliance, while at the same time enhancing military exchanges with Russia, Pakistan, and North Korea, and establishing a powerful nuclear power in China that is allied with China. area.

The report stated: “Whether the emerging balance of military power will contribute to the deterrence and strategic stability of the Indo-Pacific region is an open question.”

“The depth of hostilities, the breadth of U.S.-China competition, and the existence of multiple potential flashpoints mean that the risk of war is high.”

Affected by the epidemic, the overall prosperity of the region has been impaired, and China’s overall strength has weakened.

The report said: “By the end of this century, Beijing is now unlikely to be ahead of its competitors in comprehensive strength-this shows that China’s rise in the world is not inevitable.” “It seems unlikely that China will dominate like the United States once did. status.”

The think tank said that Australia, which has significantly deteriorated its relations with China in recent years, is able to withstand China’s growing power better than most US partners — but increasingly relies on Washington.

In 2018, Australia banned Chinese technology giant Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. from accessing its 5G telecommunications network. When Canberra asked for an independent investigation into the origin of the coronavirus last year, relations between the two countries deteriorated, triggering a series of trade retaliations from China.

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