Great powers rise and fall, shaping each transitional period of global power shift and its geographic concentration. Currently, the world is witnessing a profound transformation in the geopolitical arena of international affairs. For the past years, the pundits have been propagating the emergence of an Asian multipolar century, with a shift from the Atlantic to the Pacific realm. However, following the COVID-19 virus outbreak, this year marks the obvious manifestation of an Indo-Pacific decade, with the US, China, and potentially India being the main protagonists in an emerging competition. This time, it is the unfolding of regional centres of power, which create the delusive impression of multipolarity, while in fact a new systemic bipolarity between the US and China comes to light. In the post-COVID-19 global context, the virus has become a catalyst of multiple systemic changes, inducing ad hoc constellations of regional actors—shaped by their geopolitical and geoeconomic interests—in a changing global order with eroding multilateral structures.
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