Swap Russia for China and we’re again at ‘war’ – it’s just a cold fact

Swap Russia for China and we’re again at ‘war’ – it’s just a cold fact, by Alan DuPont.

Warnings about a second Cold War between liberal democracies and revisionist autocracies have been dismissed by sceptics as nothing more than right-wing scaremongering. …

But the sceptics are wrong … US Vice-President Mike Pence’s October 4 address to the Hudson Institute, a US think-tank, is a sweeping indictment of Chinese expansionism and the excesses of the Chinese political system under President Xi Jinping. Largely ignored by other Australian media, Pence’s speech set the scene for an unprecedented, ­administration-wide push-back against China on multiple policy fronts redolent of Winston Churchill’s watershed March 5, 1946 “Iron Curtain” speech heralding the start of the first Cold War. Future historians will undoubtedly mark October 4 as the beginning of a second Cold War that will have enduring and equally profound global consequences. …

In Cold War 2.0 China has supplanted Russia as the main threat. “What the Russians are doing pales in comparison to what China is doing across this country,” says Pence. And our Indo-Pacific neighbourhood has become the geographical focus of Sino-US competition reflecting China’s ambition to dominate the region and the historic shift in global power and trade from the Atlantic to the Pacific. …

The Trump administration’s complaints are systemic, unusually bipartisan in today’s divided Washington and not easily addressed.

To summarise, the US has long supported and sponsored China’s remarkable rise by opening its economy to China, bringing the country into the World Trade Organisation, investing heavily in it and training a new generation of Chinese engineers, business leaders, scholars and officials. In short, the US helped rebuild China. But in return Beijing modernised its manufacturing base at the expense of competitors, especially America, and now seeks to control 90 per cent of the world’s most advanced industries. This would condemn the US and the rest of the world to unacceptable decline.

J-20 fifth generation Chinese fighter aircraft

Furthermore, China has attacked the foundations of US power by obtaining American intellectual property — the foundation of US economic leadership — “by any means necessary”. Using that “stolen technology” and “economic aggression” the Chinese Communist Party is turning “ploughshares into swords on a massive scale”. China wants to push the US from the Western ­Pacific and prevent it coming to the aid of allies — a worry for us.

Echoing our own China debate, Beijing is also accused of ­manipulating and malignly influencing US politics, academe, business, the media and even Hollywood, while oppressing its own people. It has built an unparalleled surveillance state (often with US technology), implementing an Orwellian control system and persecuting religious and ethnic minorities. And it has bullied weaker states to advance its interests through debt diplomacy.

In response, US state power will be mobilised on a scale that has not been seen since the beginning of the first Cold War.

Read it all.

Relax, Kerryn Phelps will save us.

hat-tip Stephen Neil