Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Friday, August 7, 2020 06:34:24 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Cold War A New Is In The Making

  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Save
  • E-mail
  • Print
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Rahul Singh :
On March 5, 1946, Winston Churchill made a famous speech at Westminster College, Missouri, US, that would resonate all over the world. On the platform with him was US President Harry Truman. A year earlier, Churchill and the Conservative Party that he led had, surprisingly, lost the General Election in the UK, with Clement Atlee, leader of the rival Labour Party, taking over power as Prime Minister (India and Pakistan would soon get their independence).
"From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic," said the ever-eloquent Churchill, "An 'Iron Curtain' has descended across the continent". He went on to praise the US as the "primary power" in the world, and argued for a "special relationship" with it. Truman was listening intently. That speech of Churchill is considered to be the start of what would be called the 'Cold War'. Essentially, it was 'war', without actual warfare, between nations on either side of the 'Iron Curtain'.
On the one side was the Soviet Union and the communist regimes under its control, like East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Albania. And on the other side were mainly West Germany, France, Italy, the UK, the Scandinavian nations, and of course the US. The dividing line between the two was where World War II had ended, with the fall of Berlin to the victorious Russian troops and the suicide of Adolf Hitler, in an underground bunker. The irony was that Russia and the Western powers were Allies during the entire War but would turn into bitter rivals after the war, separated by different ideologies: democracy and communism.
The Cold War continued until the Soviet Union imploded in the late 1980s under Mikhail Gorbachev. With the Soviet economy in a shambles, he ushered in market reforms and democracy. The Berlin Wall had earlier fallen and the regimes that had been under Soviet control had started to break away. East and West Germany became one country again. That is how matters remained until a few years ago. The major change has been the phenomenal rise of China, both as an economic and military power. Till the mid-1960s, the economies of India and China were roughly at par. Now, the Chinese economy is five times India's and it has replaced Japan as the world's number two economy, second only to the US. India got a bitter taste of China's military prowess when Chinese troops badly mauled the Indian forces in the winter of 1962 during a brief war in the Himalayas. That defeat still rankles in India. Since then, though New Delhi has ramped up its army to a far more effective force, Beijing has not been far behind. A recent clash along the Line of Actual Control in the Himalayas produced casualties on both sides but ended in a stalemate.
Meanwhile, there has been a global strategic realignment that looks like it will stretch into the near future. India had earlier been close to the Soviet Union, with even a "Friendship Treaty" signed between the two countries under the prime ministership of Indira Gandhi. Its traditional foe, Pakistan, had aligned itself with the US. However, with the end of the Cold War and the break-up of the Soviet Union, Islamabad and Beijing developed close ties, while the relationship between New Delhi and Washington became warmer. The nuclear deal signed between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President George Bush in 2005 signalled the new power alignment. Russia virtually withdrew from the scene.
China's President Xi Jinping has made no secret of occupying what it claims is its rightful place as the 'Middle Kingdom', and eventually overtaking the US to become the prime power in the world. India is not taken seriously as a rival, even though India might imagine so. Nevertheless, in pursuit of its "string of pearls" theory, China has set up a network of military and commercial facilities in several ports, all the way from China to Africa, thereby virtually encircling India. The main countries that have helped China in this process include Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. Even Nepal, traditionally close to India, was recently egged on by China to protest against India building a road on what Nepal claims is its territory.
In addition, there is the highly ambitious 'Belt and Road initiative' (BRI) that Beijing hopes will link a multitude of countries, from China to Europe, bringing them under its influence. In that connection a pact has reportedly been signed between Beijing and Tehran, with far-reaching consequences that should concern the US and India. It can be argued that oil-rich Iran has virtually been driven into the arms of China, given the past hostility between Washington and Tehran and the sanctions imposed by the US. The US has other sources of oil, but for China getting Iranian oil will be a god-send. And adding Iran to its BRI will open the doors to Europe. China has also been muscling into the South China Sea, most of which it claims as its own. Other countries in east and south-east Asia, such as Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Indonesia dispute this, thereby bringing them closer to the US.
Putting all these developments together, the pattern of a new 'Cold War' emerges. The main antagonists on one side are the US, India, Japan, probably Australia, and the countries in south-east Asia, and on the other China, Pakistan, perhaps Turkey, and Iran. As an ancient Chinese saying goes, "May you live in interesting times". Indeed, we are.

(Rahul Singh is a former editor of Khaleej Times)

Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

We mourn deaths in Beirut blast and demand proper investigation

A SERIES of small, silly mistakes, bureaucratic indifference and greed over a period of time can lead to deadly disasters of huge proportions. In Lebanon, this happened on Tuesday when a blast sent black, orange mushroom clouds high up in the air and a powerful shock wave in all directions, ...

Business & Economy »

Japanese FM in UK for post-Brexit trade talks

Japan's foreign minister on Wednesday began a three-day trip to Britain in a bid to wrap up negotiations on a post-Brexit trade agreement.Toshimitsu Motegi will meet British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and International Trade Secretary Liz Truss during his visit which will see two days of economic talks.It will be ...

International »

Pompeo offers $10m reward over election interference

AFP :Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday the United States would offer a $10 million reward to arrest any state actor who interferes in the November elections.US intelligence has said that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to support Donald Trump, especially though manipulation of social media.The United States ...

Sports »

`Slim to none` - Kyrgios unlikely for French Open

Nick Kyrgios dropped a huge hint Thursday that he will skip the French Open, saying the chances of him travelling to Europe this year were "slim to none".The opinionated Australian last week pulled out of the upcoming US Open in New York due to the coronavirus pandemic, with world number ...

Football »

Manchester City sign Dutch defender Ake from Bournemouth

English Premier League side Manchester City announced on Wednesday that Dutch international Nathan Ake has signed a five-year deal with the club to the summer of 2025.The 25-year-old defender, departing from relegated Bournemouth, became City's second signing of this summer after the club completed the signing with Spaniard Ferran Torres ...

City »

Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal forms a human chain in front of the Jatiya Press Club on Thursday marking Hiroshima Day.

City »

State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury hands over a book on 'Bangabandhu's Unfinished Biography' to the Chief Representative of JICA in Bangladesh Yuhohayakawa when the latter calls on him at the ministry on Thursday.

Editorial »

Set strategy to recoup education after pandemic

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the world set to face a generational catastrophe because of school closures amid the coronavirus pandemic. The states must take appropriate action to return students to the classroom. As of mid-July schools were closed in some 160 countries, affecting more than 1 billion students, ...

International »

Trump says he will `probably` give Republican nomination speech from White House

Reuters :US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he will probably give his Republican presidential nomination speech live from the White House, although the plans have not been confirmed yet."We're thinking about it. We're thinking about doing it from the White House," he said in an interview with Fox News. ...

Health »

Kids under 5 are more prone to SARS-CoV-2

Dr. Muhammad Torequl Islam :For a long time it has been considered that children and young people are fairly safe from the risk of incidence of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infection than the others. Besides, many facts, the big reasons behind this are that since children spend most of their ...

City »

`Bangladesh Chhatra Adhikar Parishad` forms a human chain in front of the National Museum in the city on Wednesday demanding trial of former army official Major Sinha Mohammad Rashed Khan killing.


Sports »

Kirsten shares his experience in virtual meeting with Tigers

BSS, Dhaka :World Cup winning Coach Gary Kirsten shared his experience and gave some tips to the Bangladesh cricketers through a virtual meeting on Wednesday."He has worked with some big players of the cricket and he himself has vast experience on cricket. We had some questions and he answered that ...

City »

President Abdul Hamid offers Munajat after saying Eid-ul-Azha prayers at Bangabhaban Darbar Hall on Saturday.

International »

Thai protesters openly criticize monarchy

Reuters, Bangkok :Speakers at a Thai anti-government protest demanded reforms to the monarchy of King Maha Vajiralongkorn on Monday, calling for its powers to be curbed in unusually frank public comments.Defaming the monarchy is punishable by up to 15 years in prison under Thailand's 'lese majeste' laws. Police did not ...

International »

Spain puzzles over ex-King Juan Carlos's whereabouts

There is intense speculation in the Spanish media about the whereabouts of embattled ex-King Juan Carlos, after his shock announcement on Monday that he was leaving the country.The 82-year-old, who is targeted by a corruption probe, announced the move in a letter posted on the royal website.It gave no details ...

Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Write a comment to this news