Is the United States deliberately trying to contain China's expansion? Does China regard the US as an obstacle to its rightful return to pre-eminence? Does the resulting clash of policies amount to a dangerous new Cold War?

Neo-Cold War rhetoric has been bandied about by both sides. Vice President Mike Pence's October 2018 speech setting out the Trump Administration's new China policy has been compared by historian Walter Russell Mead to Churchill's "Iron Curtain" speech of 1946. In Beijing, organs of the Government and the Communist Party have likened Trump's tariffs and US Navy patrols in the South China Sea

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