The Foreign policy options for Pakistan in the coming decade need to be viewed within the perspective of the intensifying Sino-US competition and confrontation. The US-led Western states, after humiliation in Afghanistan, have already launched an insidious campaign to hold Pakistan responsible for the swift advances of the Taliban. This is a dangerous narrative and could cost the country heavily. The venomous propaganda, systematically carried out by the adversarial forces, owes a great deal to Pakistan’s partnership with China in the BRI than the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. The Sino-US contestation would be intense spawning confrontation and probably conflict. The Foreign policy options for small states of greater Asia would shrink in the coming decades. The chessboard of realignment, neutrality and appeasement by states, commensurate with their national interests, was laid by the President Obama’s “pivot to Asia” policy, which was given an impetus by China’s dizzying economic development, the strident expansion of trade and investment in many continents after joining the WTO, and within two decades, it emerged as the second largest economy of the world, even surpassing the US in purchasing power parity. Pakistan being the host of the flagship project of BRI figures prominently in the game. The Obama administration signed Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreements with Australia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and recognized India as “Major Defence Partner” in June 2015. This entitled India for strategic as well as technological handshake with USA in the region and elsewhere. For the first time, since the Second World War, Japan was allowed to enhance its military capability for self defence. President Obama visited Vietnam in that year and allowed it defence imports of over $6 billion. He also hosted the ASEAN Summit in February 2016. The USA goaded major countries of the region to join hands together in close defence cooperation to strengthen their military capabilities. Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam have since been cooperating with each other within over $1.5billion USA sponsored “Asia Maritime Security Initiative”. While conducting missile attack warning exercises with Japan, South Korea separately, the US has held a series of naval exercises with quad states. These are all China-specific strategic realignments. All these economic, diplomatic and military rebalances in the South East Asia and Asia Pacific reaffirm one obvious fact that the coming decades would witness an intense rivalry between China and USA in the greater Asia. The Secretary of Defence, Ash Carter hosted 10 ASEAN Defence Ministers in September 2016 assuring them that the US would play equally important roles from sea, air and underwater with its robust military presence more geographically distributed, operationally resilient and politically sustainable. He disclosed the US had committed 60% of its home porting naval and overseas air assets to the region including F-22 and F-35 Stealth Jets, marine patrol aircrafts, submarines, undersea drones and long-range bombers. Through the Rim of Pacific (RIMPAC) Initiative launched in 2016, USA has since been conducting multilateral military exercises. The last military exercise in the region had brought together as many as 26 countries. Now, the NATO warships have been moved close to South China Sea. The trade dispute that was used by President Donald Trump as the main weapon of his anti-China armoury has been lingering on with no apparent urgency on US side to address it. The Biden’s Democratic administration would concentrate on exploiting the weaknesses of China with regard to Taiwan and South China Sea Islands and alleged human rights violations in Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet. The US would, in all probability, fuel insurgency of East Turkestan Islamic Movement in Xinjiang and create stalemate in the conflict in Afghanistan to undermine BRI and CPEC, particularly after its initiative of B3W enunciated in the recent G7 Summit that failed to gain traction. All these economic, diplomatic and military rebalances in the South East Asia and Asia Pacific reaffirm one obvious fact that the coming decades would witness an intense rivalry between China and USA in the greater Asia. The USA perception about China’s threat to its world domination would compel the American leaders to intensify and further speed up their China-specific political and strategic moves. These competitions and confrontation would be the dominant themes of international affairs in the decades to come, posing great challenges to the current USA-dominated international order, and developing nations dependent on foreign economic assistance. The Western world perceives international order to be under threat from the economic and strategic strength and influence of China; the turmoil in the Middle East and the aggressive posturing of Russia in Europe. Particularly, the undeclared alliance between China and Russia to give effect to multi-polarity in the global power politics has further exacerbated the US concerns for world leadership. This alliance has been marked by cordial cooperation between the two major powers within the SCO, and understanding each other’s stances in the Middle East and Afghanistan. While China is careful in overstepping on the Russian political and strategic interests in Central Asia, it has been steadily augmenting its economic clout in the region. Given its policy of restraint in international affairs with a view to strengthen the economic gains that it has acquired over the past three decades, China will continue to avoid any military conflict with the US unless rendered inevitable by its uncompromising stance on Taiwan and South China Sea Islands. China will rather like overcoming the wide military and technological gap with the USA within the coming decades. The Chinese leaders are well conscious that their country is an emerging power while the US has started decaying. The time is on their side. The likelihood of strategic confrontation between the US as the dominant power and China as the rising state with the potential power to displace the former in Southeast Asia and Pacific, if not in the world, in the coming decades is too strong to be ignored in the fast changing geopolitical, geo-economic and geostrategic dynamics in the world, particularly when both the powers have already embarked on strategic moves to countervail each other in almost all the regions. The South Asian region being in close proximity of the South West and Central Asia will be one of the significant battle fields for the colliding powers. The writer was a member of the Foreign Service of Pakistan and he has authored two books.