How does a country realize when it’s in a cold war with its enemy? Really, there is no definitive way of knowing the answer. The great cold war between the U.S and the Soviet Union started after the World War II (WWII). It lasted for nearly half-a-century, with both countries trying to outdo the other in terms of military, science, space-race and other frontiers. The cold war ended on paper, with the downfall of the Berlin Wall. However, experts say that present Russia is always on the cusp of undermining the U.S. democracy.
The United States is always at the forefront of cold wars, deeming its foothold over the global economy. Off late, the world has noticed the growing rift between them and China. China, under the leadership of Xi Jinping, has propelled forward at an unprecedented rate. The president has managed to revive hope among the Chinese citizens that they can help enable the country to become the undisputed global superpower. Meanwhile, China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a vast infrastructure plan, is helping to project its economic prowess in dozens of countries.
The president of the United States, Donald Trump, hasn’t shied away when it came to blaming China for the loss of jobs in the country. China’s population is not only the largest in the world but relatively hard-working as well. This has seen China become global manufacturing giants, a fact that didn’t bode well with Trump. Then there is the massive sum of money the U.S. owes to China in terms of trade deficit. These two reasons were enough for Trump to start a trade war with China, imposing tariffs on Chinese products. China retaliated by imposing tariffs on U.S. export as well – especially food products. While the tit-for-tat tariffs deepen the conflict between the two nations, experts have argued that President Trump’s trade war was “never just about narrowing trade deficits but to contain China in much broader areas.”
So, what exactly are these broader terms? Well, some of China’s effort to dethrone the United States has crossed over ethical borders. Details of China stealing U.S. business secrets and details of high-tech research has reached the ears of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The FBI has evidence of such economic espionage in all of the 50 states, tracing back to China. Meanwhile, China is expanding and modernizing its military at a rapid rate. Having the second-largest defense budget in the world, China has been constructing military outposts on islands in the South China Sea – despite protests from neighboring countries. China also has the largest Army in the world and the third-largest Air Force and a Navy of 300 ships and more than 60 submarines.
Reports from the Pentagon has proclaimed that Chinese bombers are currently training to hit U.S. targets. It’s no wonder, that Trump cited China’s increasing military stance as a need to create the Military Space Force by 2020.
At the end of the day, US is trying its best to slow down China’s rise to be the world’s largest superpower. Kerry Brown, director of the Lau China Institute at King’s College in London, has called the conflict a “grand psychological struggle” between two great powers – with China’s assertion and the U.S. stance to maintain its superpower status. He said, “There’s no way that the Americans are going to accept a world where China or anyone else is No. 1.”