With the end of the Cold War, the world become unipolar as the USA assumed a hegemonic position in the international system. With over four decades of ceaseless clashes and numerous proxy wars, the end of the Cold War conveyed what Francis Fukuyama believed was the arrival of a unipolar moment and a final verdict about the future of global politics. However, the advent of the 21st century saw a shift from a unipolar to a multipolar structure mainly due to the rise of China. China’s emergence as a contender against the status quo makes a power transition inevitable, as attempts for power maximisation are likely to result in a struggle for regional and eventually global supremacy.
Chinese ambitions are aligned and expansive which are driven by nationalism, economic uplift and military modernisation. Meanwhile the USA is unlikely to retreat or accommodate Chinese hegemony especially in Asia. China’s emergence would bring about a transition in the world order, which is presently unipolar and where the USA, as the sole hegemon, is responsible for maintaining peace and security in the international system. It is proven that no world order can remain for ever, and there is an inevitable end to every order even if it was effective. When this happens, the old order cannot come back and therefore a new one takes its place, but with this acceptance is the mandatory factor, otherwise war prevails, just like the occurrence of the First and Second World Wars resulted in the creation of new Orders. In the case of China, the shift of power and authority would also require acceptance from international society, otherwise the results are clear.
The rise of China with intense security competition can never be peaceful either, and the reasons are already clear as China has penetrated so much into the system by using the tool of trade, which could draw more support for China in the world of complex interdependence
The world has entered a new era of great-power relationships because of China’s growing influence, and a major part of this comes from China’s trading policies which China is offering to almost all the potential rivals of the USA. For the USA, Asia was never a region of strategic importance after the defeat of Japan in 1945, and its areas of concern were Europe and the Persian Gulf, but this changed after the emergence of China as a power, and North East Asia was also included by it in the list of extremely important regions.
When the USA adopted the policy of global domination, it was the time when China through its trade started containing the USA by making alliances with compatible or even incompatible neighbours, that is making more stronger relations with Pakistan in the form of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as part of the One Belt One Road Initiative, in which China is engaged with other countries like Iran, a rival of the USA in the Middle East. It is yet to be established whether this would lead to tranquillity or rivalry, given the challenges faced by US unipolarity, as the USA is also likely to opt for a new containment policy with respect to China. The conflict between the USA and China is somewhat new and cannot be compared to the Cold War contention nor can assumptions about it be made based on history.
It can be said that, China cannot rise peacefully because of intense security competition between the USA and China in East Asia, and between China and its neighbours. The USA is backing India within the region to maintain its advantage over China and this will give China a tough time to reach to its goals .The transition, that is a shift in power, would be more costly as both would have to pay the cost of millions of precious lives because of the unavoidable presence of nuclear weapons. The world has experienced a near-nuclear war between two Great Powers, the USA and the USSR, but then they both realised the cost of it. This was at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. But now the situation can be even worse, because no one is going to step back from their positions, and this leads to deadly nuclear war.
The rise of China with intense security competition can never be peaceful either, and the reasons are already clear as China has penetrated so much into the system by using the tool of trade, which could draw more support for China in the world of complex interdependence. This interdependence would prove a significant weapon for China to use it against the USA as it becomes a hegemon in coming years.
Source : https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2019/05/09/transition-in-world-order/?fbclid=IwAR2swclZiYo7_GqL2ZJrjDk5QmbET4xWmLNMeUoXIk9OHHqkep97bP0OW18