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Brooke Sample

The US Can Contain China, But It Can’t Do It Alone

Conflict in the Indo-Pacific is becoming more likely — and if it happens, the US will need allies.

An ocean of bad outcomes.

An ocean of bad outcomes.

Photographer: Philip Fong/AFP via Getty Images

The world has kept an increasingly wary eye on the China-US rivalry, with tensions growing more heated by the day between the global superpowers. In a series of columns, Hal Brands explores how a war between the US and China would most likely be waged in the Indo-Pacific region and how four key US allies — Japan, Australia, India and the UK — could shape the outcome of an ever-more-likely conflict.

“Just two years ago, it was still a fringe opinion to suggest that China might invade Taiwan or otherwise touch off a major regional conflict in the 2020s,” Hal writes. “Now, in Washington at least, that view is becoming conventional wisdom.” Unfortunately, the data give that view plenty of credence: