You may have heard of the Thucydides trap before. This is when one major power starts to decline and other powers see it as an opportunity to gain power and make a move. They are traditionally the most dangerous of times particularly in a globalized society. A Thucydides thread:
The last thucydides trap we experienced in a globalized world was when Germany saw an opportunity that the UK was declining in power and decided to make a grab for continental Europe. The US and the Soviet Union ended up being the winners on that one. This was a bipolar world.
Bipolar in the sense that there were two poles of power:

US and the Soviet Union

They kind of cancelled each other out until the Soviet Union fell bloodlessly due to a circumstance that I will get into. Now we are in a unipolar global system, which is the most unstable.
These are very unstable as the major power (the US) starts to decline and it seems that we have started to do so both with a withdrawal from our worldwide security commitments and internal division domestically (apparently NY times is on the side of China).
China and Russia are acting with more and more impunity every day. The descent from a unipolar world to a multipolar world is fraught with tricky geopolitical choices, look at what is going on in Nagorno Karabakh where Armenia (supported by Russia) and Azerbaijan (by Turkey+NATO)
Basically, the system becomes more unstable offering for opportunities for ripples in the system to spin wildly out of control.

There are two suggested differences between past times and now that may change the factors we will see:

The first is nuclear weapons.
Every leader who is not in a death cult recognizes that nuclear weapons mean not only the destruction of your opponent but also destruction of you and everyone you love. The self preservation inherent in all humans (sociopaths who have power included) has prevented them so far.
So this seems to be why the Soviet Union collapsed without major bloodshed.

We have never experienced a global war hot war with nuclear weapons. The way I see it, we might experience a hot war yet without the use of nuclear weapons which was written about by Tom Clancy in 1989
Or the Nuclear weapons continue to act as deterrents and situations like Nargano Karabahk fizzle out before they start to spread into the global system. So far this has happened with India and Pakistan. In this scenario, the US enters a cold war with China and the war is cyber.
The second suggested difference which I find to be quite silly is critical race theory:

Critical race theory suggests that violence is inherent to white people and "whiteness". So China not being a part of the oppressive enlightenment tradition will not behave as previous powers
I call BS. Violence is a human and animal trait that is universal among tribes and the incentives for it grow in centralized agricultural societies where property becomes something to fight and die for. China is not immune to these incentives due to "lack of whiteness".
Either way we are heading for interesting times where what we thought we knew about the world system needs to be rapidly updated. If this brings fear to you, remember that you were quite literally born for this because you are here now. Humans thrive when challenged. Own it.
Another thing to note is that no major war looked like the last one. Technology has rapidly developed over the past 30 years. Some questions to ponder:

How will a hot war with cyber tech, drones, and facial recognition technology work? How will space become a battlefield?
Seeing as the CCP has a strategy of owning worldwide trade through investment strategies into the companies of its opponent, how will this play into it?

What benefits does the CCP have that the west does not by keeping their internet a closed system? What about vice versa?
Is biowarfare going to play a major part in the next conflict? What will that look like?
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