Global Power Struggle: Navigating the Sino-American Showdown

Kan Yuenyong
6 min readJan 26, 2023

The weekly trend radar at Geopolitics.Asia covers a range of issues, grouped into four main scenarios: “Sino-American Showdown: Power struggles and Military maneuvers”, “Tech-Economy Titans: Innovation and financial power plays”, “Eco-Societal Impact: Climate change and societal issues” and “Legal and Miscellaneous Matters: Governmental actions and various other happenings”.

The first scenario highlights the increasing tensions and power struggles between the United States and China, with a focus on military maneuvers and international relations. The second scenario covers issues related to technology and economics, such as advancements in technology, the performance of large companies and financial institutions, and the impact of technology on society and economy. The third scenario includes issues related to societal and environmental concerns, such as Londoners being urged to cut pollution, NASA Nuclear Rocket Test, South Korea’s Quantum Tech Visit, and ExxonMobil knowing about the climate impact. It highlights the impact of human activity on the environment and the need for sustainable development, as well as issues related to social and political structures. The fourth scenario includes issues that don’t fall into the above categories, such as the SEC reviewing NYSE trading, the US DOJ suing Google over ads, and the Counter Ransomware Task Force beginning. It also includes miscellaneous issues such as Apple’s Lean Hiring Strategy, Washington Post Not for Sale, and Unification Church Halts

Geopolitics.Asia’s Weekly Trend Radar

The Four Scenarios

The Four Scenarios

Scenario#1 Sino-American Showdown: Power struggles and Military maneuvers

This scenario includes issues related to increasing tensions and power struggles between the United States and China, with a focus on military maneuvers and international relations. Key events include the imprisonment of a Chinese journalist, the involvement of a microchip mogul in a US-China tussle, and the US sending tanks to Ukraine.

Driving Forces

  • International relations and power struggles between the United States and China
  • Military maneuvers and defense strategies
  • Human rights and press freedom concerns in China
  • Economic tensions and technological competition between the US and China.

Scenario #2: Tech-Economy Titans: Innovation and financial power plays

This scenario covers issues related to technology and economics, such as the testing of “killer” drones by the Marines, discussions of ChatGPT Pro access pricing, and Binance Mixing customer funds. It also includes developments related to large companies and financial institutions, such as Google CEO explains slowdown cuts, Citadel’s record $16 billion profit, and Microsoft investing billions in OpenAI.

Driving Forces

  • Technology advancements and innovation
  • Economic developments and financial institutions
  • Competition among large technology companies
  • Impact of technology on society and economy

Scenario #3: Eco-Societal Impact: Climate change and societal issues

This scenario includes issues related to societal and environmental concerns, such as Londoners being urged to cut pollution, NASA Nuclear Rocket Test, South Korea’s Quantum Tech Visit, and ExxonMobil knowing about the climate impact. It highlights the impact of human activity on the environment and the need for sustainable development, as well as issues related to social and political structures.

Driving Forces

  • Environmental concerns and sustainability
  • Societal issues and political structures
  • Climate change and its impact on society and economy
  • Governmental policies and regulations on environment and society

Scenario #4: Legal and Miscellaneous Matters: Governmental actions and various other happenings

This scenario includes issues that don’t fall into the above categories, such as the SEC reviewing NYSE trading, the US DOJ suing Google over ads, and the Counter Ransomware Task Force beginning. It also includes miscellaneous issues such as Apple’s Lean Hiring Strategy, Washington Post Not for Sale, and Unification Church Halts Adoptions. It highlights the role of government and legal institutions in shaping society and addressing various issues, as well as various other happenings that are not directly related to the other scenarios.

Driving Forces

  • Governmental actions and legal institutions
  • Various other happenings and events
  • Impact of legal and governmental policies on society and economy
  • Miscellaneous and diverse issues that don’t fit into the other scenarios.

Out of the four scenarios, we’ve considered the first scenario is the most important one for now. This doesn’t mean that the remaining scenarios are not that important, but we’d like the strategic focus to put it on the most important scenario first. Now, we’ll list the possible drivers, inhibitors and implications in the first scenario.

The world is on edge as tensions rise between countries and digital warfare escalates. The headline “Marines Test ‘Killer’ Drones” is a sign of the increasing militarization of technology and the desire for countries to gain an edge in warfare. Meanwhile, the headline “US Sending Tanks to Ukraine” highlights the growing international conflicts that are putting countries on edge. The headline “NATO Secretary Visits Korea and Japan” shows the increasing involvement of international organizations in these conflicts, raising concern about the potential for a global conflict.

As countries race to gain an upper hand, the headline “Binance Mixes Customer Funds” is a reminder of the vulnerability of financial systems to cyber attacks. The headline “Treasury Helps Putin Ally Sue UK Journalist” illustrates the growing use of legal means to silence critics and control the narrative.

The driving force behind this scenario is the increasing competition between countries and the desire to gain an advantage through military technology. The headline “Pentagon Prepares for Taiwan Visit” suggests that countries are preparing for potential conflicts and that the situation is becoming increasingly unstable. As the world watches with bated breath, the question on everyone’s mind is, how far will countries go to gain the upper hand?

Drivers:

  • Tensions between the United States and China over trade, economic, and political issues continue to escalate.
  • The US continues to take a hardline stance towards China on a range of issues, including human rights, Taiwan, and intellectual property.
  • China continues to assert itself as a global power and is increasing its military capabilities and presence in the region.
  • Increasing competition over resources and markets in the Pacific Rim and other regions.
  • The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts have further strained relations between the two countries.

Inhibitors:

  • Diplomatic efforts to deescalate tensions and find common ground on key issues.
  • Efforts to strengthen international alliances and partnerships to counterbalance the influence of both the US and China.
  • Economic and trade agreements that decrease tensions and promote cooperation between the two countries.
  • Peaceful resolution of disputes over Taiwan and other areas of disagreement.
  • International pressure on both the US and China to avoid military conflict and find peaceful solutions to disputes.

Implications in four main areas are as follows:

Economic Implication: Increased military spending and investment in technology could lead to economic growth in certain industries, but could also lead to a strain on government budgets and a potential decrease in spending in other areas.

Political Implication: Tensions between countries could lead to a breakdown in diplomatic relations and an increase in political instability. Countries may also become more isolated as they prioritize their own security over international cooperation.

Social Implication: Increased militarization and the potential for war could lead to a rise in nationalism sentiment, but also lead to increased fear and anxiety among citizens.

Environmental Implication: Investment in military technology could divert resources away from addressing environmental concerns, such as climate change. Additionally, increased military activity could lead to environmental damage.

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Kan Yuenyong

A geopolitical strategist who lives where a fine narrow line amongst a collision of civilizations exists.