Experts say US attitude toward China threatening world peace
During online panel discussion they say Washington risks new Cold War
Experts from around the world said that the United States government's aggressive statements and actions toward China pose a threat to world peace and a potential Cold War on China, which may continue for many years, is against the interests of humanity.
The comments came during an online panel discussion in London on Saturday, No to the New Cold War, which featured leading analysts from China, the US, Britain, India, Canada, Venezuela and Brazil discussing how to counter the new Cold War.
Martin Jacques, a former senior fellow at the Department of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge University and author of the book When China Rules the World, told the expert panel that the origins of the "Cold War onslaught from the United States" dates back to the 2008 financial crisis.
Jacques said the financial crisis was "completely unexpected as far as the West was concerned and it led to a big shift in the center of gravity of power from the United States to China".
"It undermined the previous position that the Americans had held which had underpinned their conception of the relationship between the two countries after the Nixon/Mao accord," the British scholar said. "And those two propositions were, firstly that China could never be a serious economic challenger to the United States and secondly, China's rise was unsustainable because it didn't have a Western style political system."
However, during 2008 and 2009, Jacques said these positions were undermined and the US came to see China as a threat to the US global hegemony.
He pointed out that the West is now feeling the threat of being displaced.
"What this clearly shows is the inability of the United States, as the presiding hegemon of the world, to come to terms with the fact it cannot continue in that position," he said. "We're going to be witnesses to a very painful process not just over the next few years but over a quite long period of America trying to prevent this trend."
Jacques said it might take some time for the West and the US in particular to come to terms with the new reality that the world is no longer "Western dominated and Western centric".
As tensions continue to grow between the US and China over several key issues, the conflict between the two superpowers has brought on a new Cold War.
"A Cold War has started," Jacques said. "It's not becoming a Cold War, it has started."
He believes the Cold War will continue unless the US shifts its position and "comes to terms with the reality that it has to share primacy in the world with China".
However, Jacques believes this new Cold War won't be the same as the last.
"Firstly, China is far stronger than the Soviet Union ever was," he said. "The Soviet Union was never a serious economic challenger to the United States and China is in a different position. China is already, in some areas, ahead of the United States and its potential and capacity is much greater than that of the United States."
He also noted that China's response won't be the same as the Soviet Union.
"The Soviet Union went toe-to-toe on military expenditure in an arms race with the United States which it could not afford anyway. China is not going to make that mistake," he said.
Speakers at the event also included Jenny Clegg, author of China's Global Strategy: Toward a Multipolar World; Radhika Desai, a professor at the Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba; and John Ross, Senior Fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China.
In summarizing the panel event, organizers said in statement: "A New Cold War on China is against the interests of humanity. We note the increasingly aggressive statements and actions being taken by the US government in regard to China. These constitute a threat to world peace and are an obstacle to humanity successfully dealing with extremely serious common issues which confront it such as climate change, control of pandemics, racist discrimination and economic development."