A second cold war is tracking the first

World

A second cold war is tracking the first

US-led western alliance is once again squaring up to Russia and China

Gideon Rachman

In Washington, Beijing and Moscow, officials all say that they want to avoid a new cold war. A recent piece in the New York Times suggests they have little reason for concern. It argued that “superpower rivalries today bear little resemblance to the past”. The article pointed to Russia’s relative weakness and China’s technological prowess to underline how things have changed since the late 1940s.

Those differences exist, of course. But the parallels between today’s events and the early years of the cold war look increasingly convincing, even eerie.

Once again you have a Russia-China axis arrayed against a western alliance, led from Washington. Last week, US President Joe Biden addressed an EU summit — while Antony Blinken, his secretary of state, gave a speech at Nato calling for western unity in deterring China’s military ambitions and Russian “aggression”. Meanwhile, Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, was in China, calling for Beijing and Moscow to push back against US power...

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