Global geopolitical allegiances and agendas are rapidly evolving because of Covid. In the past, military and economic considerations provided the basis of strategic alignment. Now the calculus has become far more complicated and layered. No longer a two-dimensional game of checkers, it has become a four-dimensional game of chess — with different players and radically different rules.

The new game is centred on four strengths: muscle (hard power), messaging (narrative), money (trade) and medium (information flows)...

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