When the Fever Breaks?: COVID-19, U.S.-China Relations, and East Asia

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The United States, the People's Republic of China, and the U.S.-China relationship greatly affect security and the regional order in East Asia. The COVID-19 crisis has sharpened a downward trend in relations between Washington and Beijing. The effects are consistent with what theories of international relations would predict, based on fundamental features of U.S.-China relations and the two countries’ positions in the regional and international orders. The first article in this two-part series focused on several aspects of these issues that are relatively unlikely to change. This second part continues the examination, addressing features that may be more dynamic and hopeful. It also considers prospects that the pandemic will help to shift influence from great powers toward lesser ones.

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