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Global Security, Could China and America's 'new cold war' heat up?

Par Julian Borger Washington & Lily Kuo Beijing - 4 mn

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Stepping up The Chinese navy has been ordered to use more aggressive tactics REUTERS

From sea skirmishes to cyber war and trade, Beijing and Washington are squaring off – and neither will back down

The United States and China have shrugged off rules and constraints that have kept their 21 st -century global rivalry in check, opening the way for an escalating conflict on many fronts that neither side appears willing or able to stop.

Chinese officials have accused Washington of starting a new cold war, but the jostling has already shown its potential to turn hot through accident or miscalculation, if active measures are not taken to defuse tensions.

Within the past few weeks, as a trade war loomed between the two countries, US and Chinese warships came within metres of colliding in the South China Sea. And the FBI set a trap in Belgium for a senior Chinese intelligence official and had him extradited to the US, provoking fury in Beijing.

Washington has meanwhile significantly ram...