The economic balance of power and need for international alliances

October 8, 2020

Building international alliances is the only way if the US wants to modify China’s behavior either in the economic or geopolitical sphere. This paper examines the appropriateness of multilateral and plurilateral approaches to a geo-economic policy aimed at China’s current regime.


Unilateral action by the United States has had a limited impact on modifying China’s behavior either in the economic or geopolitical sphere. In the last essay by Stewart Paterson, titled “US-China decoupling: How far have we come and how far will we go?”, he argued that US strategic aims towards China have shifted from a renegotiation of the pre-existing economic relationship to containment. This new paper from the Hinrich Foundation suggests that while a multilateral approach is more likely to achieve this strategic goal, it would require the US to engage in an alliance-building process.


What would that require, who are the potential allies, and what are the political and economic realities behind such a process? Moreover, would an alliance of like-minded countries – and absent China – be able to reinvigorate and advance the multilateral trading system?