Does China pose a threat? Examining the US case for a new Cold War

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Singh, Ajit
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Today, relations between the United States and China have deteriorated to their lowest point since the establishment of diplomatic relations in the 1970s. The US government has argued that China constitutes the principal threat to the security and prosperity of the United States and the world at large. This thesis analyzes contemporary US foreign policy towards China, focusing on the official justifications underlying Washington’s stance. Through case-study analysis, this thesis examines US narratives regarding China in three key arenas of the growing conflict: (i) relations with the Global South and the claim that China practices “debt-trap diplomacy”; (ii) the “trade war” and allegations that China engages in “unfair” economic practices and its economic development threatens US national security; and (iii) tensions surrounding Taiwan and notions that Chinese “aggression” is endangering the island, while US involvement is driven by concerns for peace and democracy. This thesis argues that serious reasonable doubts exist regarding the justifications provided by the US for its foreign policy towards China. Instead, this thesis argues that the United States is pursuing an aggressive containment strategy aimed at blocking China’s ascendance and securing US global supremacy.
United States, China, Imperialism, International Relations, Cold War