The ugly verbal spat between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and top Chinese officials who met last Thursday in Anchorage, Alaska, laid bare the future of U.S.-China relations.
Most astonishing was that, propelled by Blinken, officials on both sides displayed their deep grievances against each other in public, in front of media cameras. Ever since, American experts on the U.S.-China relationship have been arguing whether this exchange equaled diplomatic malpractice by Blinken or refreshing frankness.
What’s not in question is this: The accusations in Alaska set the tone for a future relationship between an existing and a rising superpower unlike any we’ve seen in the modern era. The prospects for cooperation are low, and the challenge to keeping the competition in check will be high.