In This New Cold War, Is the US Destined to Lose?

October 15, 2021 Updated: October 16, 2021

Commentary

Contrary to popular belief, the United States and China are very much engaged in a new cold war. More worryingly, China appears to be winning. What can be done to address the growing threat from China? Is an all-out war inevitable?

In a recent interview with The Associated Press, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on China and the United States to repair their “completely dysfunctional” relationship. A new cold war, he warned, must be avoided at all costs.

In his maiden speech at the United Nations General Assembly, President Joe Biden, obviously aware of Guterres’ comments, declared that the United States was shifting from “relentless war” to “relentless diplomacy.” The United States, he stressed, was “not seeking a new cold war.” Although Biden doesn’t want a new cold war, the Chinese regime certainly does.

After all, a cold war is “a state of political hostility between countries” typically characterized “by threats, propaganda, and other measures short of open warfare.” Whether Biden likes it or not, the two countries are already in a new cold war and China appears to be winning.

Let’s start with threats. In July, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) explicitly denied paying criminal groups to carry out cyberhacks around the world. Although the evidence clearly suggested otherwise, the CCP called the claims “ridiculous.” According to a Reuters report, a number of prestigious companies, universities, and government agencies in the United States and abroad were targeted. The Biden administration issued a statement accusing Beijing of initiating the attacks. The Global Times, the CCP’s mouthpiece of choice, was quick to respond, warning that the “slander against China” had become “excessive.” And if it continued, then China would be left with little option but to “retaliate.” Less than a month after this explicit threat, the Biden administration announced its plans to sell weapons to Taiwan. The CCP, clearly unimpressed, called the move a “vicious provocation.” Not finished there, Beijing vowed retaliation.

Besides threatening the United States on a regular basis, the CCP also goes to great lengths to spread propaganda. Although Beijing has rejected a WHO plan for further investigations into the origins of COVID-19, only the most foolish of individuals would dismiss the idea that the virus originated in China. The “Wuhan lab leak” theory, once ridiculed by the MSM, has never seemed more plausible. In Hebei Province, the purchase of PCR tests surged months before the first official reports of a novel coronavirus case—the CCP clearly has something to hide. This explains its desire to spread disinformation regarding the origins of the virus.

In recent months, thanks to the masters of spin in Beijing, a disinformation campaign claiming that the virus originated in the United States has gained some traction. If the CCP is to be believed—which it’s not—then the virus escaped from Fort Detrick, a military base in Maryland. Interestingly, the “Fort Detrick lab leak” gained popularity in China just before U.S. intelligence published its report on the origins of the virus. Coincidence? I think not. Somewhat ridiculously, because of the CCP’s lies, over 5 million Chinese netizens signed an open letter to the World Health Organization, demanding that it investigate the Fort Detrick lab.

As Mark Twain noted, a lie can travel around the world and back again while the truth is lacing up its boots. The CCP has gone to great lengths to smear the United States and distract the world from the truth. For years, the CCP has made a concerted effort to “report the news from a Chinese perspective.” As Chinese leader Xi Jinping has noted repeatedly, “telling stories is the best form of international dissemination.” By “telling stories,” of course, he means disseminating propaganda. Many of these “stories,” not surprisingly, focus on the United States.

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Military personnel stand guard outside the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Md., on Sept. 26, 2002. (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)

Remember a cold war consists of threats, propaganda, and other acts short of open warfare. When we think of open warfare, we think of guns, missiles, fighter jets, and torpedo launchers. However, modern warfare is changing at breakneck speeds. The aforementioned hacking spree, for example, was a full-scale assault on more than 250,000 organizations worldwide. The group behind the attack, Hafnium, a cyber espionage group with close ties to Beijing, made off with hundreds of thousands of personal emails and stole valuable data in the process.

Although the Chinese regime is unlikely to wage an all-out war against the United States, it’s already carrying out “low-level” attacks. As I have noted elsewhere, the likes of WeChat and TikTok, two of the most popular Chinese apps in the world, are known for siphoning off enormous amounts of data. Last year, as the German news site DW reported, such forms of data collection have absolutely “nothing to do with the actual function” of the apps. The developers deliberately “built back doors” and “spy functions,” going to great lengths “to ensure that no one would notice.” TikTok, with more than 80 million users in the United States alone, now collects the biometric data of all its American users. Interestingly, TikTok does not gather the biometric data of users in any other country. Why is the United States the only country being targeted for biometric information? I’ll let you answer that.

Whether or not Biden realizes it, the United States and China are already engaged in a form of warfare. For all the empty talk of a “Taiwan agreement,” the president should be savvy enough to take Xi’s promises with a generous helping of salt. Xi won’t be content until “reunification” is achieved.

In the original Cold War, the United States firmly defeated the Soviet Union. In the new cold war, however, China appears to have the upper hand, largely because Biden, under immense pressure, refuses to acknowledge the gravity of the situation. Although an all-out war is far from inevitable, and perhaps even unlikely, the Chinese regime has already caused significant harm to the United States. In today’s world, it’s possible to inflict unimaginable levels of carnage without reaching for a gun.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

John Mac Ghlionn is a researcher and essayist. His work has been published by the likes of the New York Post, Sydney Morning Herald, Newsweek, National Review, The Spectator US, and other respectable outlets. He is also a psychosocial specialist, with a keen interest in social dysfunction and media manipulation.