When Kevin Rudd, a former Australian prime minister and China expert, recently told a German news magazine that a Cold War between Beijing and Washington was “possible, not just possible,” his comments provoked controversy across the White House as officials tried to stifle such approaches. But officials acknowledge that China is emerging as a much broader strategic adversary than the Soviet Union was, a technological threat, a military threat, and an economic competitor, according to a New York Times analysis.
While President Joe Biden insisted at the United Nations last month that “we do not seek a new Cold War or a world divided into rigid blocs,” his repeated references this year to the generational struggle between “authoritarianism and democracy” have invoked some ideologues with Cold War slogans.
According to the “New York Times”, the escalating tensions over economic strategy, technological competition and military maneuvers under the sea, in space and in cyberspace hide under them the slogan of the Cold War.
And in the past few weeks, old-fashioned Cold War behavior has echoed: the Chinese Air Force has flown sorties into Taiwan’s no-fly zone, Beijing has expanded its space program, launched three more astronauts to its space station and accelerated its tests of supersonic missiles aimed at defeating US missile defenses; And the release of a senior Huawei executive in Canada in a prisoner exchange.
At the same time, the United States announced that it will provide Australia with nuclear submarine technology, which means that submarines may appear undetected along the Chinese coast. Chinese commentators have not escaped that the last time the United States shared this type of technology was in 1958, when Britain adopted reactors as part of efforts to counter Russia’s growing nuclear arsenals.
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Ahead of the Australia deal was announced, satellite imagery revealed new Chinese nuclear missile fields, the existence of which Beijing has not made clear. US analysts are now unsure of the Chinese government’s intentions, but some within US intelligence agencies and the Pentagon are questioning whether President Xi Jinping has decided to abandon six decades of China’s “minimum deterrence” strategy.
The ongoing background to cyber conflict and technology theft was one factor behind the CIA’s announcement this month that it had created a new China Center in the words of its director, William Burns, when he said China was the most important geopolitical threat we face in the 21st century, an increasingly hostile Chinese government. “.
For all of this, top Biden aides say the old Cold War is the wrong way to frame what’s happening, instead arguing that it should be possible for the two great powers to share and cooperate on climate and contain North Korea’s arsenal even as they compete over technology and trade, or compete for advantage at sea. Southern China and around Taiwan.
According to the report, the White House hates putting a label on this multi-pronged approach, which may explain why Biden did not give a speech explaining this approach. But his actions thus far look increasingly like those in a world marked by competitive coexistence a little more intense than “peaceful coexistence”.
“This is not like the Cold War, which was basically a military competition,” said a senior Biden administration adviser in an interview, on condition of anonymity