The US-China joint statement, written after Obama’s nine-day visit in Asia, represents a turning point in history: both countries addressed worldwide problems as superpowers on equal footing. The issues ranged from ecology to the financial crisis, from the defence of human rights to nuclear topics. They even discussed China’s bilateral problems with India.

After the “War”, the “Post War” and the “Cold War”, the optimists explained we were starting a new era which could be called the “end of history”– the “perpertual peace” that Kant spoke of. The pessimists however believed the opposite; for them, an era of chaos had come about, during which terrorism and a lack of respect for human rights would sweep away nations. In reality, this new phase of world history should undoubtedly be called the “Pacific War”. The two main adversaries would be, for the most part, the United States and China.

The two sides are now the two leading economic powers in the world, ahead of both Japan and Germany. They are incredibly interdependant: the Americans were able to finance their growth because of the high savings rate in China. This allowed the poorest of Americans, who were artificially made richer by the artificially increased values of their homes, to purchase Chinese products. Consequently, China was given the means to reach an even higher savings rate. Now the elites of both countries are intermingling: while masses of young Chinese men and women are already studying on American campuses, President Obama has announced his intention to send 100 000 American students to China over the next four years.

These two countries are also becoming big rivals in a great number of fields; we will see them compete in every sector: oil, raw materials, ecology, control of the seas, influence in Africa, Central Asia, Russia and even India and Europe. Next month, for example, we will find out that China produces and commercializes civilian airplanes which rival those made by Boeing and Airbus. Today’s geopolitics as we know it is going to change. In the Pacific area, (where the States believed they were the sole master after the break up of the USSR) both superpowers are beginning to measure up on a military level: China now has balistic weapons precise enough to destroy ships navigating at 1 500 kilometres from its shores. They can therefore keep the five American aircraft carriers, which once reigned there as masters, out of this zone. Tomorrow, China and the United States will also be military equals in South and Central Asia. Possibly in Siberia as well.

The current economic crisis marks the beginning of this conflict: China is worried about a fall in its savings as the United States get deeper in debt. The States on the other hand denounce the overestimated value of the yuan. The United States had believed themselves to be the world’s sole superpower and that the communist system was doomed in Beijing just as it was in Moscow. They now see that China is here to stay as China tells them how to stop going downhill.

For the moment, the masters of the “Pacific War” are planning how to best co-manage world affairs: the G-2, which was disguised as a G-20 of back-patting and punches below the belt, will replace little by little the “Cold War” between the American and Soviets.

Europe, naturally, will stay out of the picture.