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Conflict Between Great Powers Is Back with Vengeance: The New Cold War Between the US and China Plus Russia

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The Political Economy of Emerging Markets and Alternative Development Paths

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Abstract

China’s emergence as a powerful challenger to the US’s and the west’s well-crystallized position atop the global hierarchy poses the question of how to co-exist peacefully. This essay discusses several economic sectors where the two sides are acting aggressively towards each other; in trade, capital, high-tech, and cyberwar. It argues that the geopolitical class of the US and the west must go against the drift of popular opinion and strengthen interaction and investment in the ‘battle ground’ states of the global South, while simultaneously sustaining a closer negotiating position with China and avoiding a self-fulfilling prophecy of war. It concludes with a discussion of appropriate western steps to peaceful co-existence, and the prospects for hot war.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Mitchell et al. (2022) argue that Beijing’s support for Russia in Ukraine is a lot less than the rhetoric suggests.

  2. 2.

    In late 2020 toilet paper dispensers using facial recognition were removed from public bathrooms in the city of Dongguan after public outrage.

  3. 3.

    The European Commission announced in December 2020, after 7 years of negotiation, the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) with China. In May 2021 the European parliament voted to suspend ratification of the agreement, following Beijing’s sanctions of five European officials. These sanctions were themselves a reaction to sanctions of Chinese officials by several western countries in response to the Chinese government’s treatment of the Uighurs in Xinjiang. IISD, 2020, ‘Outlook for the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment unclear, as EU parliament votes to suspend ratification efforts’, 1 June 2021, at https://www.iisd.org/itn/en/2021/06/24/outlook-for-the-eu-china-comprehensive-agreement-on-investment-unclear-as-eu-parliament-votes-to-suspend-ratification-efforts/.

  4. 4.

    But see Youtube (2021) for reasons why China is unlikely to invade Taiwan.

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Correspondence to Robert H. Wade .

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Wade, R.H. (2023). Conflict Between Great Powers Is Back with Vengeance: The New Cold War Between the US and China Plus Russia. In: Ricz, J., Gerőcs, T. (eds) The Political Economy of Emerging Markets and Alternative Development Paths. International Political Economy Series. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-20702-0_2

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