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We’re not supposed to call today’s competition between the United States and China a new Cold War.

That makes some sense — the historical parallels are inexact — but elements of the current U.S.-China relationship sure look like that earlier time, and they aren’t the good parts. Both governments see the world in terms of a struggle, reflecting both ideological and geopolitical interests, that is total — meaning the stakes could be existential. As a result, both are committed to policies that intensify suspicions and magnify distrust.

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