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American hegemony in the world has been formidably challenged in recent years by China. Beijing’s rapid technological progress, breakneck defence buildup, expanding space program, increasingly assertive actions in South China Sea and the Indian Ocean, the humongous Belt and Road Initiative and China’s leadership in the creation of the world’s largest trading block RCEP, reveal its aspiration to modify the international system to its advantage. Washington however is determined to prevent China from having a free reign in reshaping the global order. It has announced it would provide nuclear submarine technology to Australia, with the prospect that its submarines could pop up, undetected, along the Chinese coast. The last time US shared that kind of technology was in 1958, when Britain adopted nuclear reactors to counter the Soviet Union. United States has strengthened its informal alliance with Japan, Australia and India under the QUAD forum, augmented its naval exercises in South China Sea, And has extended moral and arms support to Taiwan. All of this forms part of a direct counter to China!

In Oct this year, CIA announced that it had created a new China mission center to position the United States to confront “the most important geopolitical threat we face in the 21st century, an increasingly adversarial Chinese government.” Earlier in the year President xi jinping declared in July that those who get in the way of China’s ascent will have their “heads bashed bloody against a Great Wall of steel.” These statements sounds eerily similar to the rhetoric common during the Cold War.

Kevin Rudd, the former Australian prime minister and longtime China expert, this year told a German newsmagazine that a Cold War between Beijing and Washington was “probable and not just possible”.

The text book definition of COLD WAR is a state of political hostility between countries characterized by threats, propaganda, and other measures short of open warfare.

Based on what we are witnessing right now between US and China, would it be fair to say that the world is entering a new cold war?

To answer this we have with us, the long time International Affairs editor at the Hindu, Dr Stanly Johny. Sir, welcome to Argumentative Indians.

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