US and China: A New Cold War

US and China: A New Cold War

China, Asia’s leader in the foreseeable future recasting the military and dynamic politics in the region. Both Superpowers are fighting over the South China Sea, China wants to push the US away from it while American strategists remain firm there and call illegal claim of China, South China Sea is to China as the Caribbean was to America in the 19th century, the US wanted to control Western Hemisphere while today’s China wants Eastern Hemisphere.

The rivalry is increased in 2020 as the USA closed the Chinese consulate in Houston blaming that it is involved in espionage and technology theft, in retaliation China closed the American consulate in Chengdu. A rare bipartisan consensus has emerged on recalibrating US policy on China to better address competitive dynamics. Politics has changed the perception that 73% of Americans hold an unfavorable view about China says Pew Research Center Summer 2020 whereas 49% in 2010.

Analysts say that coming Biden’s presidency will challenge China even more than Trump, they have charted the plan to unite allies and confront China, Biden announced earlier this year that the most effective way to meet the challenges is to build a united front of US allies and partners to confront China’s abusive behaviors and human rights violations.

Beijing is going to face hardened counterpart as there is a failure between competition and cooperation which may bring catastrophic results and jeopardize borderless issues such as climate change, nuclear arsenals in North Korea and Iran.

Ideological differences evolved when Xi Jinping succeeded Deng Xiaoping, for several decades positive developments were taking place but now the president-for-life has changed power from soft to hard authoritarianism and responds vigorously to opponents. For a few decades, China followed the “Non-Confrontation Policy” which allowed her to rise economically, following this she did not retaliate any hostile confrontation like the US did and remained busy in interfering in other states. The philosophical differences between two systems, American democracy, and Chinese communism have created the same gap as the Soviet and US did back then.


The policy of containment against the Soviet Union is now applied over China because the USA is gravely concerned from China. Mike Pompeo on a visit to the United Kingdom asked allies for Global Coalition to confront China. To counter the influences both the largest economies are taking interest in the Asian region, the US invests heavily in India and gains benefits of India’s rivalry over the Galwan valley with China. On the other hand, China drives attention to Iran by making a deal to invest in Chabhar port and Afghanistan. Recently China has stepped forward by announcing a tariff exemption of 97% on export to Bangladesh to form good relations. Sino-Pak relations are also in a good phase but it’s still hard for Pakistan to pick either side because Pakistan’s largest export destination is the USA and the largest investor China. The recent developments are evident that China invests more within the region than any other country. In foreseeable future, in this dynamic order, Pakistan has to strengthen relations with China, Iran, and Bangladesh because in the coming years polarization will increase. 


Disputed islands in the East China Sea, the Chinese call it Diaoyu and Japanese call Senkaku, which were formally claimed by Japan since 1895 and China reasserted the claim in the 1970s, most of the islands are privately owned by Japanese citizens but now intensities are increased as both World’s second-largest economy and third-largest economy claim and routinely patrol there. It is obvious that this clash is over resources, these islands are rich in oil and natural gas reserves & prominent is shipping routes. China claims islands have greater control over their surroundings and increases greater concern in the US too.

China by 2019 became the second oil consumer, half of which is imported and she fears the blockade by rivals which will hit the economy. It imports through shipping from the Strait of Malacca which is patrolled by the US and runs through narrow channel Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. Technology encourages conflict rather than alleviates it, both superpowers have inhabited the same digital ecosystem and wars of integration. Though borders are thousands of miles but can be breached within seconds with a computer click.


China has proved that “You don’t need democracy to get ahead” and became the world’s second-largest economy which has made dense ties with other nations that it will take years to cut off and causes billions of dollars to lose. In the previous cold war, the US & USSR had no economic ties but now China & the USA have a lot of business together. So this war won’t end like that where one power collapsed peacefully. This new cold war would be an economic disaster for the whole globe.

To confront China, the US has to make allies ready as India can’t take its side because India imports raw material from China on a larger scale, Korea and Japan will commit economic suicide if they cut off ties, even it’s hard for Europe too as Joseph Borrel said that Europe is not ready to fight by side of America because China does not pose a military danger and it’s not in Berlin’s interests, same happens with Germany as it exported €96bn (£87bn) to China in 2019, going further John Hopkins University survey shows that 150$bn is borrowed by African countries from China which becomes 20% of their external debt. China is not coming slow, it heads four United Nations institutes out of 15 and the west was alarmed in 2017 when Dr. Tedros Adhanom was backed by China to run the World Health Organization. It is worth mentioning that when the motion was raised in the United Nations Human Rights Council for 1 million Uighur Muslims blaming that China sends them to refugee reeducation camps, only 22 opposed and more than 50 nations signed a letter accusing the west of “Politicizing Human Rights”. So this whole scenario shows that systematic rivalry is not in interests of large economies except the USA.


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