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There Will Be a U.S.-China Cold War

Author: Paul Heer

Affiliation: Former National Intelligence Officer for East Asia (2007 to 2015), National Interest (Distinguished Fellow), Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for International Studies (Research Fellow)

Organization/Publisher: National Interest/ The Center for the National Interest

Date/Place: October 3, 2021/USA 

Type of Literature: Analysis

Word Count:1869    


Keywords: China, US-China Relations, Cold War




The author argues that a cold war between America and China could occur by competing at the economic, technological, and political levels, rather than decaying into a possible conflict. George Orwell defined the Cold War between America and the Soviets as “a peace that is no peace” before any conflict takes place. The author argues that the same description is very appropriate for the possible cold war between Beijing and Washington. First, if we look at the causes of a possible cold war from the American side, the rise of China in every field poses a significant threat to America, reflecting this threat especially as the struggle between democracy and autocracies. For this reason, the Biden administration is pursuing a combative and competitive policy towards China, while continuing the rhetoric left over from the Trump presidency.  On the other hand, China continues to increase its power with security concerns due to America’s rhetoric on regime change in China and anti-Chinese rhetoric. The increase in competition between America and China and China’s increase in overseas operations are important events that trigger a possible cold war. As a result, a cold war between China and America is inevitable, but it is also not something that both sides desire.


By: Esra Ibrahimagaoglu, CIGA Research Intern



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