The pandemic has both amplified and accelerated the escalating strategic rivalry between the United States and China … which has become much more intense in the last few months.

That’s how Hugh White, Emeritus Professor of Strategic Studies at the Australian National University, describes the connection between the pandemic and the changing balance of power in Asia. White has been warning Australians for two decades now about the profound implications of China’s rise for our national security, and in this latest episode of COVIDcast you will hear that coronavirus has exacerbated his worries.

Has the pandemic led White to revise his view that economic and military power matter more than any other factor in international politics?

But White has long argued that the power shift in Asia is a story about China’s rise, not American decline. So does it even matter that the US has responded poorly to Covid-19? Has the pandemic led him to revise his view that economic and military power matter more than any other factor in international politics? Did Australia make a mistake in pressing China to allow an international inquiry into the origins of the pandemic? For answers to these and more questions, listen to the whole interview. 

COVIDcast is a podcast hosted by Lowy Institute experts to discuss the implications of Covid-19 for Australia, the Asia-Pacific region and the world. Previous episodes are available on the Lowy Institute website. To stay up to date with the latest episodes of COVIDcast, subscribe to Lowy Institute Audio on Apple Podcasts, Google podcastsSpotify or SoundCloud.