Jake Sullivan Claims the US Doesn’t Want a Cold War With China

Biden has also claimed the US doesn't want a Cold War, but his China policies tell a different story

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told CNN on Sunday that the US is not seeking a new Cold War with China and wants to coexist with the Asian power.

Sullivan said the US is not trying to “transform China” but instead “shape the international environment” to make it more favorable to the US and its interests.

“The goal of America’s China policy is to create a circumstance in which two major powers are going to have to operate in an international system for the foreseeable future, and we want the terms of that … to be favorable to American interests and values,” he said. “The goal here is not containment, it’s not a new cold war.”

Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing, told The South China Morning Post that the US and China are already in a Cold War. “The US and China have already entered a new Cold War despite the words US officials are using to modify their position. There is no change in behavior,” he said.

In September, President Biden also claimed the US is not seeking a Cold War with China. But Biden has framed the US relationship with China as an ideological battle between “democracy” and “autocracy” and has said Washington is in competition with Beijing to “win the 21st century.”

Besides the rhetoric, Biden has continued military provocations against China and significantly escalated operations in areas like the South China Sea. His administration is also taking steps to boost ties with Taiwan as the US now views the island as an opportunity to counter Beijing.

One key aspect of the Biden administration’s China policy that is reminiscent of the Cold War with the Soviet Union is forming new alliances to confront Beijing in Asia. The US recently signed a new military pact with Australia and the UK meant to counter China, and Biden is strengthening cooperation with the Quad, a four-nation group seen as a possible foundation for a NATO-style military alliance in Asia.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.