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This Cold War May Come With a Second Front

Yoon Suk-yeol speaking at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, on March 9. A former top prosecutor, Yoon won election as South Korea’s president, returning the conservative opposition to power after five years, and signaling a hawkish turn in the country’s relations with China and North Korea.

Yoon Suk-yeol speaking at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, on March 9. A former top prosecutor, Yoon won election as South Korea’s president, returning the conservative opposition to power after five years, and signaling a hawkish turn in the country’s relations with China and North Korea.

Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg
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The full-fledged reemergence of the Cold War with its shifted European battle lines may soon come with a component that its 20th century iteration lacked: A second front.

Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has divided the continent yet again, with Russia on one side and NATO on the other. But the addition of a Kremlin-friendly China to the mix has changed the equation. Just as Putin’s war has brought the U.S. and Europe closer together, it’s also giving new impetus to a coalition of democracies and middle powers in Asia. These nations are pushing back against China, increasingly viewed there as the eastern end of an authoritarian axis stretching across Eurasia.