IR & Politics

America is Back: The Cold War 2.0

America is back”. The declaration has repeated three times at the Munich Security Conference by US President Joe Biden. Sure enough, the President trying to re-shape American foreign policy and taking concrete actions after the previous Mr Donald Trump. To illustrate these, Mr Biden has returned to the G-7, reversed Trump’s withdrawal of US troops from Germany, they re-joined the Paris Agreement. Moreover, Mr Biden has extended the New START nuclear arms treaty, imposed sanctions on the junta in Myanmar and articulate the intention of going back to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Furthermore, in the same conference, President Biden used the Cold War language on China. The President used “China” three times and “Chinese Government” two times in his speech.” He called the USA’s allies to prepare for a long-strategic competition with China. He highlighted that competition will be stiff and warned that “will be different than Russia”. Moreover, Mr Biden called the USA’s allies to push back the Chinese government’s economic abuses and coercions. Not last but least, the President underlined democratic transaction and used together with “who would monopolize and normalize repression”. To say it more clearly, Mr Biden declared the USA’s who is the “most serious competitor” in the conference.

The USA had been in a sort of alliance with China back in the days in order to contain the Soviet Republic during the cold-war; along the same line, China has benefited from this mutual relationship to enriched and strengthen its economic dynamics. The engagement policy worked before. However, time has passed, and policies have fallen into place. The great power rivalry between China and the USA will grow. The containment policy has shifted; China will become the target country.

The USA has been bothered by China’s aggressive Foreign Policy for many years. China has boosted its claims in the South China Sea, started patrolling nearby Japanese controlled islands, clashes between India, air patrolling over Taiwan Strait, the militarisation of human-made islands on the South China Sea, enhancing its nuclear arsenal, the conflict between Hong Kong, political and economic activities in Africa and many more.

Indeed, the peripheral country to contain China will not be Russia; hereby, the importance of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or the Asian NATO must be highlighted. The Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, has had a phone call with Quad ministers and ensured them the importance of the alignment, which includes Australia, India and Japan.

In the multilateral word, the USA cannot face its “most serious competitor” alone. States seek a status quo and constraint themselves to concentrate on maintaining the balance of power. The anarchy of international politics will not allow China to pursue its revisionist claims. Therefore, limited cooperation among Asian NATO through fears of relative gains made by China will be definitive in the forthcoming days.

The USA knows the rules of how to play the Cold War; they are the winner of the last century’s ideological confrontation. No doubt, as President Biden stated, the latest version of the Cold War will be stiff, but more or less mediums are the same within multinational environment. Distinctly, “the US strategy must never forget the innately realist nature of the Chinese strategy that it is seeking to defeat. Chinese leaders respect strength and are contemptuous of weakness. They respect consistency and are contemptuous of vacillation”[1].


To find out more stay tuned!

Berk Can Kozan

He achieved his BA Degree from the Eastern Mediterranean University in Cyprus and obtained his MA degree from University of Pécs in Hungary. His main research fields concern on nuclear deterrence, international security and foreign policy issues, international relations’ theories, and internal/external affairs of Turkey. Currently, he is a third year PhD student at the National University of Public Service in Hungary.
Back to top button