Biden should be held accountable with Trump for the ‘new cold war’: Global Times editorial
Published: Sep 21, 2021 09:50 PM
China-US relationship. Illustration: Liu Rui/Global Times

China-US relationship. Illustration: Liu Rui/Global Times

US President Joe Biden reiterated that the US is not “seeking another Cold War” during his speech delivered in the General Debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on Tuesday. However, while he gushingly talked about some common challenges such as COVID-19 and climate change, he had shown an iron hand in a velvet glove by directing the spearhead at China. For example, in one section, he mentioned freedom of navigation, adherence to international laws and treaties, support for arms control measures to reduce the risk and enhance transparency, which are all in  line with the long-standing US accusations against China and he justified the US provocations against China.

Biden’s speech was a vivid demonstration of the hypocrisy of American politics. Of late, even its allies have been repeatedly learning from Washington's selfishness and betrayal. As the US withdrew its troops from Afghanistan and formed a security alliance with the UK and Australia, Washington has twice sacrificed Europe's interests. This has made Europeans realize that Biden's approach and Donald Trump's "America First" policy are basically the same thing. The so-called strengthening of the alliance is just an honorific plaque that the US has built for itself.

The whole world now is talking about a "new cold war," and even UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has expressed his concerns. Is this perception wrong? Of course not. It is the US that has caused all the changes and conflicts that give the global community such a strong impression that a new cold war is approaching. And it is US officials that have been doubted and questioned by the general public.To use a Chinese saying, Washington's declaration of "no new Cold War" is like writing a sign that reads "No 300 taels of silver buried here" after literally burying them there. It just reveals what the US intends to hide.

The Biden administration seems to know well that a cold war is bad and goes against the will of the people. Yet, they are now saying one thing but doing another. Washington keeps talking about competition and vowing never to engage in a "new Cold War." This is to blame China for the formation of a potential "new cold war." This way, it can take the moral high ground of opposing a new cold war to further mobilize the world against China.

Let's see what Washington is really doing: Whether it is conducting competition or confrontation, and whether it is pushing the world in the direction of a "new cold war."

First, politically, the Biden administration has continued the dichotomy which was heavily promoted late in the Trump administration, declaring that the China-US conflict is a confrontation between democracy and freedom on one side and "totalitarian autocracy" on the other. The Biden administration not only talks about "like-minded" democratic institutions, but also plans to hold an unprecedented "Summit for Democracy" in December, in an undisguised attempt to divide the world into the so-called democratic half and the "non-democratic" half.

Second, economically, the Biden administration has inherited the entire trade war policy of the previous administration, and is escalating its efforts to strengthen the decoupling of the US from China in terms of technology and pivotal industries and to promote supply chains that exclude China. It is widely known as the "tech cold war", which is a bid to lay the economic foundation for a comprehensive new cold war.

Third, militarily, the US has intensified its alliance policy against China. The country has done its utmost to inject into the Quad the narrative of military cooperation aimed at China, and induce its European allies to project power around China. In recent days, the US, UK and Australia have defied the world by announcing the establishment of a trilateral security partnership called AUKUS, which will help Australia build a nuclear-powered submarine capability, all while failing to take into account the raising military tensions in the Western Pacific.

Fourth, Washington has been adding fuel to the hot spot regions of Taiwan Straits and the South China Sea. The country has encouraged the Taiwan authorities headed by regional leader Tsai Ing-wen to take the risky path of antagonizing the Chinese mainland. The US has repeatedly sent warships into the waters near China's islands and reefs to provoke China. These moves have sent extremely dangerous signals, which are to create tensions for the entire situation and aggravate the international community's fear and anticipation of an eventual showdown between China and the US.

While doing this, the US claims that it does not seek new cold war with China. Who would buy it? Chinese society does not believe it, global public opinion does not believe it. Surely there are only very few people in the US who believe that the Biden administration is not launching a cold war, nor that it is capable of controlling the so-called China-US competition at an "appropriate level.”

From the Trump administration to the Biden administration, the general trend of China-US cooperation has been destroyed as the formation of a new structure between the US and China dominated by conflict has been promoted. Now, the Biden team wants to use a few high-sounding words as a brake on the severely deteriorated China-US relations. It could not be as simple as that. The relationship between China and the US is multifaceted and serious. How can it become a game that the Biden administration can skillfully manage for its own political interests?

What we want to say is that it is the Chinese and American societies and peoples who really do not want a cold war. In opposing a new cold war, Beijing can only hope that the power of American people is greater than the operational energy of the US government and some political elites against the tide of the times. Time and momentum will ultimately fail Washington's vile intentions, negating and limiting its destructive power. 

Finally, we want to ask President Biden and his team to be honest and realistic. They cannot build an Indo-Pacific version of NATO to contain China's development, let alone achieve the ultimate goal of containing China. No matter what label they use to sweeten what they have done, their cheap trick will always fail