Donald Trump Xi Jinping
(Image: AP/Susan Walsh)

Suddenly everyone from Scott Morrison to Kevin Rudd is talking up the arms race in the Indo-Pacific and a potential "hot war" between China and either the US or some of its allies with Taiwan looming large.

It's sudden, but it's not surprising. This is a (somewhat) logical place to be after the US, and then other Western countries, rounded on China for being the source of COVID-19 and covering up its origins.

This has also occurred within the context of China’s fast-rising military might. China has added aircraft carriers and stealth fighter jets to its hardware arsenal, along with a newfound diplomatic “wolf warrior” aggression.