Global Times asked 'New Cold War' between the US and China in the South China Sea?

South China Sea has been raised tensions by China's increasing military operation recently, and fueled with the US military presentation amid China's drills. The China's state media Global Times asked on July 13 that  “is the US launching a new cold war against China?”
July 13, 2020 | 09:31
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US – China tensions heat up in the South China Sea

Faced with increasingly brazen Chinese efforts to exercise control over the entirety of the East Sea (South China Sea), the U.S. military is using a series of big aircraft carrier operations to show allies that the United States isn’t about to turn its back on the hotly contested region, the foreignpolicy said.

Over the weekend, the USS Ronald Reagan and the USS Nimitz sailed into the East Sea (South China Sea), another challenge to China’s unlawful claims of maritime sovereignty in the area that have been consistently challenged by other countries. More than a routine passage of the type meant to assert the right to free navigation, the exercise reportedly included the use of jets, reconnaissance planes, and helicopters, while Chinese sailors held competing drills near the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands.

Since July 4, the US military has deployed the USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Groups to conduct dual carrier operations in the South China Sea. In fact, for the first time in six years, the two US Navy aircrafts are in the region, CNN reported.

It is said by the Global times that "China and the US seem to have been at loggerheads in the South China Sea arouses concerns about whether a naval clash between the two might break out. It begs the question: Will the South China Sea become a "tipping point" for US-China confrontation"?

The United States is launching a cold war against China, according to almost two thirds of Chinese researchers in a survey conducted by a Beijing-based think tank. A total of 62 out of the 100 respondents to the survey published by the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University agreed when asked “is the US launching a new cold war against China?”

China, though, is able to cope with a possible new cold war offensive by the US, according to 90 per cent of the respondents. Questions could be raised over the accuracy of the results as, like political opinion surveys, views against official lines in China can often be suppressed, reported the scmp.

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Two possible scenarios where the two sides might clash

But it does offer evidence that China is leaning towards intensifying its rivalry with the US, having previously maintained a mainstream view that the bilateral relationship can be “neither too good nor too bad”. The full list of respondents was not published, but from the names provided, the survey contacted representatives from universities and think tanks in China, including the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Research Development Centre of the State Council.

Tensions between Beijing and Washington are flaring on multiple fronts from the South China Sea, Xinjiang and Tibet, while the US is threatening to sanction Chinese individuals and institutions in response to the controversial national security law in Hong Kong.

FBI director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday that China is the “greatest long-term threat” to the US as Beijing is seeking to become the world’s only superpower with a state-directed “campaign of theft and malign influence

While, the globaltimes says: the author thinks that there are at least two possible scenarios where the two sides might clash.

First, under constant provocations and threats from the US, China will have no choice but to upgrade its countermeasures, which could cause Washington to resort to more dangerous military tactics.

Second, if a conflict happens between China and US and other countries (like Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia) over their control and resource development in China -caused disputed waters, Washington will provide them support; either because of bilateral agreements or out of its own motivations. Either way, this could trigger direct military conflicts between China and US.

Niall Ferguson, historian and a fellow at the Hoover Institution, wrote in an opinion piece published by Bloomberg News that a new cold war is the reality and that it is China, not the US, that started it.

Today’s proponents of ‘rivalry partnership’ [with China] are overlooking the possibility that the Chinese aren’t interested in being frenemies. They know full well this is a cold war, because they started it,” Ferguson wrote.

A total of 58 per cent of the respondents to the survey by the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University, though, believe China and the US can avoid the Thucydides Trap, a term that describes an unavoidable conflict between an existing power and a challenger.


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