Is the United States engaged in a Cold War with China? The answer is a resounding yes. The United States seems to have become accustomed to resorting to a Cold War with whoever it sees as a strategic rival, and currently, China is the biggest obstacle to US dominance. The tensions between the two countries have reached new heights in recent years, aggravated by different political, ideological, and economic factors, and the US bears much of the blame for the current state of affairs.
The United States and China have long experienced tensions in their economic relationship, as the US accuses China of engaging in unfair trade practices. However, it is the United States’ own history of protectionism and economic coercion that undermines its credibility in this regard. The US has imposed tariffs and sanctions on Chinese products in order to advance its own economic interests and to penalize countries that do not comply with its demands, which has contributed to the current tensions with China. Moreover, the United States’ confrontational approach has contributed to the perception that it views China as a strategic adversary and a threat to its global dominance.
The US is viewing China through a Cold War lens, which is why it sees China as a strategic rival and a threat to its global dominance, and this is another factor contributing to the tension between China and the US. The US has reinforced this perspective by its aggressive actions in the Asia-Pacific region, including the deployment of naval assets to the South China Sea and the strengthening of military alliances with countries such as Japan, South Korea, and Australia. These moves by the United States suggest to Chinese leaders that the US is trying to contain China’s rise and limit its global influence.
History has shown that the US has often adopted a confrontational approach, which undermines its criticism of China for human rights abuses. The US has been criticized for its treatment of minorities, including African Americans and Native Americans, as well as its use of torture and extrajudicial detention in the post-9/11 era. With all these facts, it is difficult for the US to credibly allege that China is committing human rights abuses.
Similarly, the US seeks to limit China’s access to emerging technologies, such as 5G, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing, because they could have significant economic and strategic implications, and this is another major source of tension between China and the US. However, the US has been maintaining its dominance in these areas, which gives China the impression that the US is putting in effort to limit its influence.
Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the conflict between China and the US, as the US engages in a blame game over the origin of the virus, criticizing China for being responsible for its spread, while China accuses the US of politicizing the pandemic. China has provided medical equipment, healthcare staff, and other resources to different countries to fight the pandemic, while the US has tried to put all the blame on China, creating further opportunities for conflict between the two countries. These statements reflect that the two countries are engaged in a strategic competition, with the US adopting an aggressive approach and China being on the defensive.
Although tensions between the two countries are not as intense as they were between the Soviet Union and the United States, the situation is becoming increasingly volatile. In this case, China is still being patient because it knows that the US seeks to hinder Chinese economic growth. The US has been displaying its military strength by conducting freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea, and in response, China has conducted military exercises near Taiwan. The two countries are increasingly competing in different sectors, with significant economic and strategic implications.
It is vital for both countries, China and the United States, to address the issues and come to a conclusion where strategic competition can be managed without resorting to any sort of conflict. This can only be achieved when both countries show a willingness to engage in constructive dialogue and commit to respecting each other’s sovereignty. Shared interests and responsibilities need to be recognized since both countries are major powers in an interconnected world. The US needs to get rid of the insecurity that its global dominance will be curbed; only then can a diplomatic solution be carved out.
A full-blown Cold War between China and the US would be disastrous for the global community. That is why the US has to quit its Cold War mentality. Otherwise, it would likely result in a significant disruption to the global economy and a further erosion of democratic values and human rights.