Once upon a time, in Cold War..
Since the Sino-American relations have become more confrontational, there has been a lot of talking about a new Cold War. There are at least three reasons why there is a huge difference between the past Soviet Union – US and current US – China confrontation.
Firstly, the Cold War was based on a global peace agreement for the planet, the Yalta Agreement. It divided the world into two spheres of influence, making clear that neither contender should have created problems for the other. And so it was, with a few exceptions, which did not result in an open nuclear war anyway.
So much so that when the Pentagon decided to target Moscow by placing the missiles at NATO bases in Turkey, Khrushchev sent the ships to Cuba and Kennedy‘s advisers understood that the agreements had to be respected.
Probably for the same reason, Che Guevara died in Bolivia, if it is true that the Communists of that country received instructions from Moscow not to help him in order to respect US influence in South America.
China vs United States
The current political, economic and military conflict between China and the US is not based on any agreement! On the contrary, it is growing by the day.
Beijing wants to control a vital area of the South Pacific that has been American responsibility since the end of War World II. We are talking about the waters of the South China Sea, the Taiwan Strait, the archipelagos of the Philippines, the Sea of Japan, the Yellow Sea, etc.
In addition, Beijing is questioning the French and English neo-colonialism in Africa in order to install its own. In Europe China seeks support from the European Union, promising the moon with the future Silk Road.
Secondly, the Cold War was an ideological war between liberal capitalism and Marxist totalitarianism, in a world where the prospect of an international communist revolution had not yet completely vanished, and where the obedience of Western Europe countries to Moscow was a real danger.
Today, no one in the West seriously thinks of adopting a political system like Beijing’s. China’s illiberal regime is condemned everywhere, and no brainwash threatens the conscience of industrialized countries.
Lastly, the Cold War was not an economic war. Trade between the two blocs was kept to a minimum, the ruble had no legal tender in the West and there were no listed private multinational company in the Soviet Union which could threaten the supremacy of the dollar.
Today with China everything is different: on the one hand, because trade between Beijing and Washington is at sidereal levels; on the other hand, because the Chinese hold huge amounts of American valuable currency and support US public debt.