No country benefitted more than China from the liberal world order architected by America. No coutry got more trade help and investments from America than China. Deng Xioping had given the sage advice to Chinese leadership. Hide your strength; don’t rock the boat. Advice was well taken by Jiang Zemin who harped on “peaceful rise” of China to put every body at ease. It was a fast rising economic and military power and was on its way to overtake America, with the help of America, in almost every respect in not too distant future. As a matter of fact, rise of China appeared to come at the expense of America, whose decline was starting to become apparent.
So it is hard to fathom why China decided to thumb its nose at Amerca. Xi JinPing from the getgo decided to throw the caution to the wind. It immediately challenged US ally Japan in the East China Sea. Then it made a spurious claim on all of the South China Sea. It decided to spurn the International Court ruling that China’s claim on Islands off the coast of Phillipines was untenable. It upended a 27 year old agreement with India and started a bloody skirmish on the border, forgetting India is a nuclear power. It violated its 23 year old treaty with UK about Hong Kong. Why was all this necessary when a simple strategy of staying the course would have put China on the top in about a decade or so?
Now US is aroused. India has lost all its illusions about China. Australia, UK and Japan are getting ready to join forces with US and India to challenge Chinese plans of hegemony. I think a point of no return has been reached. Cold war is underway. China does have friends in Pakistan and North Korea, and may be Russia. Last cold war lasted 40 years and had provided US a sharp focus and a sense of purpose. I think this cold war is likely to do the same thing





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