I think so.When? In the future, if you persist the Eurocentric definition of World War. In the past, if, for example, you count the great popular move and the many conquers from Asia over Europe. Or colonization of the world from Europe. These were also all armed conflicts that concerned more than one continent and caused millions of victims.
There are too many risks, problems and too many power hungry people in the world to make the hope of a future without bulky conflicts between nations a realistic one.
There is inequality, poverty, exploitation, water shortage, land hunger, overcrowding, hunger, scarce raw materials, pollution of the sea, air and soil.All these things can lead to instability and conflict. Most have done that as well, in the past.
What man has done, man can do again.
History does not repeat itself, but as people we make again the same mistakes every time.
In a sense, it is underway with a (never stopped) Cold War in which China is now involved. The continuous conflicts, both militarily in the Middle East, and economically with economic sanctions for example against Russia, and the incidents with China in their sea waters, are all the result of a continuous power play between the superpowers.
I am rather pessimistic about the conflict between the USA and China.This is sometimes referred to as “The Fall of Thucydides”, which described the Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens, which was caused by a great power that had fear of an emerging superpower. The chance is very real that this leads to escalating conflict.
I do not think that we are getting a classic war, but many embargos, political jousting games (think of the Huaweitopman), etc.The USA also needs China; She does not have sufficient expertise to manufacture appliances such as smartphones etc. The likelihood that this conflict, despite a lack of direct military conflict, has enormous consequences, is great.
The fact that we now have extreme weapons-nuclear weapons-makes every superpower realise that there is nothing to gain. The damage will be extreme, but there will be no winner.A great power that dares to do so will soon be affected.
The risks are rather in the petty powers-North Korea, Pakistan-which can do silly things in their vain hurt.They also do not win, but the damage will be great, and the balance of power shifted.
I believe that we are in a silly status quo.Just because of these scary weapons nothing happens.
The Third World War has been long and we are now still in the afterlife.
Iraq, Afganistan, Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Ukraine/Crimea, Somalia, and so on.
It is not a criterion that European countries are at war to call it a “World War”.