A new cold war as Xi takes his third term? –Asia Times

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The acceleration of a new Cold War could be dramatically accelerated in a historic event that will take place this Sunday.

Does that sound too dramatic? No, I do not think so.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will deliver a major speech in Beijing this weekend at the Communist Party Congress, which takes place only once every five years, and in which he will take on an unprecedented third term at the helm. – putting him on the right track to be a leader for life.

I expect Xi to take an even more strident approach against the United States, his country’s main superpower rival, as the two nations strive to become the ultimate global dominant force militarily, politically, cultural and economic.

Xi’s speech follows the release this week of US President Joe Biden’s first official national security strategy plan, which identified China as “America’s most significant geopolitical challenge”, as well as the need to compete harder over the next decade to keep up with the People’s Republic. .

Bonnie Glaser, director of the Asia program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, recently told Bloomberg: “I expect US-China relations to become more adversarial, not less…I increasingly think that they will suffer the shock of a major crisis. for the two countries to have a serious dialogue on how to coexist peacefully.

US-China relations have deteriorated significantly in recent years, it seems to me and most commentators.

Both fight to control security infrastructure, trade, trade and economic systems, technology development and regulation, and international norms, practices and values.

China’s rapid military build-up, including the expansion of its nuclear capability, underscores Xi’s view that his country’s armed forces are “up to China’s international standing,” and it’s sparking controversy. serious concerns in Washington.

Other contentious issues in this area include self-governing Taiwan, which China considers its territory and which the United States has sworn to protect from any attempts by Beijing to establish itself; China’s construction and militarization of islands in the South China Sea; and China’s joint military operations with US enemies.

Washington’s confidence in China has also been badly shaken since Xi announced a “limitless” partnership with Russian President Vladimir Putin just weeks before he invaded Ukraine.

“It shows Xi Jinping’s contempt for the United States that he is seen on stage with Vladimir Putin, who is not a natural ally,” said Jon M Huntsman, former US ambassador to China and Russia. “It is their common antipathy towards the United States that brings them together.”

Furthermore, the Covid-19 pandemic has managed to strain US-China relations in many ways. These include that supply chains have been severely disrupted by China’s zero-tolerance policy, meaning container ships have been loitering outside ports and factories have been closed.

But also, the social and institutional engagement between China and the United States has also diminished. “Interactions between countries’ universities, non-governmental organizations, creatives and tourists had declined before Covid and have slowed since,” Time reports.

There is no doubt that the antagonism between the two most powerful nations in the world has become more entrenched, more explicit and more aggressive.

And in my opinion, all of this sets the stage for a new cold war, which will have a global impact.

This is a view shared by former Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, who was quoted by Time as saying: “All Southeast Asian countries now feel compelled to take sides between the United and China. There is clearly a real risk for all the other countries in the world of feeling that we are now falling into two camps.

The effect of a new Cold War will be even more impactful globally than that of the first because of the economic interdependence of the world’s two largest economies. China and the United States together represent more than 40% of the global economy.

This is why the global economy and the future of billions of people are going to be largely defined by Xi’s speech on Sunday.

Nigel Green is founder and CEO of the deVere Group.

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