'Significant' risk of war as China's power declines in Indo-Pacific: Report

WION Web Team
Sydney, AustraliaUpdated: Dec 05, 2021, 08:02 PM IST
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A file photo shows Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photograph:(Reuters)

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According to the Lowy Institute, 'Beijing is now less likely to pull ahead of its peer competitor in comprehensive power by the end of the decade'

A new report has revealed that due to the decline in China's power in the Indo-Pacific region, there is a ''significant risk of war.''

Sydney-based foreign policy think tank, the Lowy Institute has released an index of 26 countries, ranking them according to their power and control in the region.

Called the Asia Power Index, the index has shed light on how the coronavirus pandemic has reduced the relative power of Beijing.

''Whether the emerging balance of military power contributes to deterrence and strategic stability in the Indo-Pacific is an open question," the report said.

"The depth of hostilities, the breadth of US-China competition, and the presence of multiple potential flashpoints mean the risk of war is significant."

Lampooning China's strong arm-tactics, US President Biden's top Pacific envoy Kurt Campbell accused Beijing of being engaged in "really dramatic economic warfare.''

The US envoy said that under President Xi Jinping, China has become "more risk acceptant, more assertive, more determined to basically take steps that other countries would view as coercive".

According to project director Herve Lemahieu, “The mix of emotional qualities can result in miscommunication and unintended conflict that leads to war.”

"Beijing is now less likely to pull ahead of its peer competitor in comprehensive power by the end of the decade – this suggests that there is nothing inevitable about China's rise in the world," the report said.

"It appears very unlikely China will ever be as dominant as the United States once was."

Over the last two years, China has introduced a raft of punitive sanctions on Australian goods in a fierce political dispute that has frozen ministerial contacts and plunged relations into the most serious crisis since the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989.

It happened after Canberra called for an independent investigation into the origins of the coronavirus.

In 2018, Australia banned Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co from its 5G telecommunications network. 

(With inputs from agencies)