Xi Jinping on all fronts: How far will China-US rivalry go?

Xi Jinping boasted about a "great wall of steel" in the speech marking the kickoff of his precedent-breaking third term as China's president. He has consolidated his grip on power and is flexing his might just as leaders of the US, Australia and the UK converged on San Diego, where they vowed to stand up to Beijing's expansionist designs in the Pacific and elsewhere. How adversarial is Xi, what with so much trade between AUKUS allies and China?

A once-insular giant preoccupied first with its development and the one billion-plus mouths it has to feed, China is now firing on all cylinders and present on all fronts: brokering a thaw in relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran last week, confirming a trip to Moscow by its president and offering its graces in brokering peace with Ukraine.

Will post-pandemic China have the clout to offer the kind of model of success to rival the West? Or is it all just a bit of flag waving to distract from the limits of an ageing population and a surveillance state whose attractiveness can only take Chinese soft power so far?

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

Read also:
Are US military drills in Asia-Pacific a veiled attempt to curb Chinese power?
China says AUKUS alliance on 'path of error and danger' after submarine deal unveiled
UK to boost defence spending over China, Russia concerns