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Tobin Harshaw

China’s Challenge to the U.S. Is So Much More Than Cold War 2

Beijing wants the world to embrace its authoritarian model. But the country is also part of a highly integrated global economy. A Q&A with Elizabeth Economy.

Cheers to the New Cold War.

Cheers to the New Cold War.

Photographer: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

“Who lost China?” According to legend, this phrase tipped off the great foreign-policy blame game of the 1950s.  But in retrospect, the correct answer is pretty clear: Nobody. Because Mao Zedong and his comrades won it, fair and square.

So fast forward 70 years, and maybe the question is “Who Re-Lost China”? While it was fairly obvious that China’s economic rise would lead to superpower status, it’s shocking how fast the rivalry with the U.S. turned ugly. Fifteen years ago the symbiosis between the nations was flourishing to the point that my Bloomberg Opinion colleague Niall Ferguson coined the phrase “Chimerica.” He now says we are in a Cold War 2, and Henry Kissinger more or less agrees