In these days when the real “Cold War” seems to be between news organizations coming out with evermore sensational headlines, nothing gets the geopolitical blood stirring like the conflict between the world’s two largest economies, the USA and China. It does seem like we are on a collision course. But can we call this a “new Cold War”? This article explores the question with great clarity, but I will add as someone who came into this world and lived my first thirty years in the Cold War era, the USA China scuffle certainly doesn’t feel like the real deal.
The stand-off between the USSR and the USA was existential, pure and simple. Significant players on each side regularly advocated bombing the other side out of existence, and each certainly had the means to do it. Contrastingly, the economic power of the two sides was completely unequal- the USSR had a fraction of the economic and commercial power of the USA.
In today’s world, China and the USA are different. No one talks about “destroying the other in such a way that “no life could be sustained there for 1000 years” (a real quote from the Cold War era). More importantly, the economies of China and the USA, when compared to the USSR/USA match, are fairly equal. In short, China and the USA are not mortal enemies, even if the fight card of the day wants you to believe they are. This overriding aspect of our current crisis gives me hope. I am not saying that there will not be strife and loss as issues are worked out, but this is more like the Milagro Beanfield War, than the Cold War.
Courtesy of Ray Brimble, Chair of the Center’s Board of Advisors and founder and managing partner of Lynxs Group LLC.