COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world for 2 years has failed to teach humankind any useful lesson, nor have evidences of climate change and global warming done anything to change our way of living. The lesson for both cases is a single and a very simple one: global cooperation and universally united imitative to face these serious and other challenges to save humankind from falling into dire consequences.
As a proof of human inclination towards unreason and self-centric behavior, the new year of 2022 has dawned with a siren song of war, a new cold one forged by the USA and its allies against China. The USA is seriously intent on replaying the cold war movie once run against the Soviet Union. But the danger is that a hot war of fire may break out anytime during this replay.
America's China fever reached its peak during the Donald Trump era. Behind the apparent differences between the Democratic and Republican parties of America lies a very good consensus regarding the country's pro-Israeli and China-bashing roles. Biden is following the footsteps of his predecessor Trump despite the latter's irreconcilable hatred against him. Following the Trump tradition, China is now America's main enemy and will remain so until it's settled through the fall of either one of them or both.
The 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), signed into law by President Biden on 27 December contains blueprint of this new cold war era in the present world. The $770 billion passed with support from both parties is set for surrounding China with a suffocating frame of US military networks and crippling it economy by barricading it in various ways.
The US's Defense Budget Overview asserts, "The Department will prioritize China as our number one pacing challenge and develop the right operational concepts, capabilities, and plans to bolster deterrence and maintain our competitive advantage."
In its view: "China poses the greatest long-term challenge to the United States ..." So "The Department will continue to modernize the forces, global posture, and operational concepts to ensure our armed forces are capable of deterring and defending against aggression that undermines the security of both the United States and our allies."
Michael Klare, author of All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon's Perspective on Climate Change, therefore, wrote, "The defense bill that Joe Biden recently signed lays the groundwork for a new cold war with China. That's great for defense contractors - and terrible for world peace." ("Encircling" China Is a Very Bad Idea, Jacobin, 14 Jan. 2022)
China has reacted to this with a comment by foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian who decried the US action as "political manipulation" and urged the USA "to discard the obsolete Cold War zero-sum mentality and ideological bias and look at China's development and China-US relations in an objective and rational light." (China Rips $770 Billion U.S. Defense Bill as 'Political Manipulation', Alex J. Rouhandeh, 28 Dec. 2021, Newsweek)
Zhao's urging has fallen on deaf ears of US policymakers. They are moving forward with increasing zeal of building a hostile network of surrounding countries with the aim to contain China. The Quad, or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, consisting of the USA, Japan, India and Australia, was revived in 2017. The Quad leaders met with Biden at White House on September 24 last year for strengthening military cooperation in the region.
There is also AUKUS formed on 15 September in 2021 with Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States for the Indo-Pacific region again with the explicit policy of containing China. Clearly, "America's top leaders have reached a consensus on a strategy to encircle and contain the latest great power, China, with hostile military alliances, thereby thwarting its rise to full superpower status," wrote Michael Klare in his Jacobin article.
No one yet knows the full consequences of this emerging new cold war between China and the West and their eastern allies. There is, however, a difference between this new cold war and the previous one against the Soviet Union. The present rivalry is between two capitalist countries, though China's is different and run by a party communist in name only, with very little ideological substance except some glazing. Yet, that cold war, fortunately, did not turn hot. There is no historical guarantee of such comfortable turning out of events this time or in coming days.
Again, there was no other threat during that period except the super power rivalry. Whereas, now the world is beset with COVID pandemic and a very apocalyptic danger of climate change is facing us all.
The US leadership is utterly failing to act with wisdom in the present situation of the world. Its action of starting a new cold war against China is putting humankind not only away from a united global initiative against dangers not seen before in history, but also on a path of very serious consequences from where return might be a near impossible task.
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