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US confronts China

After the withdrawal from Afghanistan, US President Biden had said that their main target will now be to tackle the growing threat from China and Russia. In this regard, US, Britain and Australia have signed a new security alliance in an apparent bid to counter China.

This Indo-Pacific pact includes giving Australian military nuclear-powered submarines, which has renewed concerns of a new arms race in the region. Biden is also set to host a meeting of the Quad – US, Japan, Australia and India – ahead of the UNGA session next month which will focus on enhancing defence ties.

China has reacted strongly to the new alliance and attempts to challenge its sovereignty, saying it could damage regional peace and stability, intensifying an arms race and non-proliferation. China said the United States should shake off their ‘Cold War mentality’ and prejudice. Analysts have said the new alliance is sufficient evidence that the US was prepared to take a step towards a new Cold War.

The United States was engaged in an economic war with China during Trump’s administration. Such was the concern that US military chief Mark Milley had to bypass the president and assured the Chinese they would not declare war to avert a possible military conflict. The situation does not seem to subside during Biden’s era but could rather escalate.

There is already high tension in South China Sea – a contentious area between regional countries. In recent years, China has built artificial islets, turned them into military outposts, and allowed its guards to fire at intruding foreign vessels. There are also repeated incursions near Taiwan, for which US has expressed support, while an arms race is heating up between North and South Korea.

The US is building up defence ties with others countries to challenge the deterrence from China. It should rather focus on dialogue on key areas such as climate change, public health and security. UN chief has already warned that Glasgow climate summit risks being failed and US and China need to play their part. A recent report said dialogue is rather effectual and we are facing many crises and therefore, it is essential that US-China relations should be improved to maintain global order.