These tensions have been going on for decades and are growing and spreading over time. The main reason for this is China's emergence as a new world power through which American supremacy appears to be at stake, although various titles are used from time to time. The issues that have surfaced in modern times regarding the differences between the two countries can be briefly reviewed.
A recent issue is China's unusual activities in some areas within the South China Sea, which have been outlawed by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He is of the view that China's attempt to reclaim the area's natural resources is completely illegal. He tried to make it clear that Beijing's harassment campaign to control disputed waters is wrong.
In response, China says the United States is deliberately distorting facts and international law and has nothing to do with the region. A Chinese diplomat in Washington said the United States was exaggerating the situation in the region and wanted to escalate hostilities between China and other maritime countries.
After the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, the US President blamed China. Since then, tensions between the two countries have steadily risen. The US president said China's cover-up of the coronavirus in Wuhan had spread the disease worldwide. He said Beijing controls the World Health Organization.
He decided to cut off 450 million USD aid to the WHO and limited ties with the World Health Organization. A bill against China was also introduced in the US Congress regarding this disease. China denied these US and some European allegations whereas a delegation of WHO is in China for investigations.
The United States and China are also at loggerheads over Hong Kong issue. Leading Chinese newspaper People's Daily has stated that the position of the Communist Party of China in this regard is that Hong Kong is an internal matter of China and US intervention efforts will fail. President Donald Trump has signaled end of special privileges for Hong Kong after the Chinese parliament passed a new security law.
China is making trade deals with various countries in the world, which are causing the Chinese economy to expand. The United States sees this proliferation as a threat to its global interests. That is why US is also against CPEC. In order to put an end to this plan, while various attempts are being made to intimidate Pakistan, attempts are also being made to provoke it.
Although Pakistan, in view of its past experiences and present circumstances, has entered a stage where a return from CPEC does not seem possible. The agreement between Iran and China, which is being discussed these days, has also drawn a backlash from the United States.
Some analysts are of the opinion that the US is also behind the recent China India military dispute in Ladakh, which advised India to build a road in Ladakh. Last week, the head of the FBI said in a statement that China was the biggest threat to the United States. He said the Chinese government's measures of theft and espionage are the biggest long-term threat to the future of the United States.
Speaking at the Hudson Institute in Washington, FBI Director Christopher Ray said China has begun targeting and forcing Chinese nationals living abroad to return and also trying to sabotaging US research on the corona virus.
He said that the entire state of China is trying to become the only superpower in the world by any means. In an hour-long speech on Tuesday, the FBI director outlined a broader campaign by China on US policy through bribery, blackmail, illegal political activity, economic espionage, data and money laundering.
"We have reached a point where the FBI is opening a new counter-intelligence case involving China every 10 hours," he claimed. About half of the 5,000 such cases currently pending across the country are from China.
Christopher Ray's statement underscores the depth of the tension between the two countries. Earlier in an article, I drew the reader's attention to a speech by EU Foreign Minister Joseph Borwell, which he delivered to German diplomats at the end of last May. In it, he said that the Code-19 pandemic would be seen as a turning point in history, when the United States did not seem to be leading the world after decades.
He added that the "Asian century" that experts were predicting had probably appeared during the Corona pandemic and that the EU should now formulate a concrete policy towards China to secure her interests.
Speaking at a conference of German diplomats on May 25, Joseph Borrell said analysts had long been talking about the end of the US-led global system and the arrival of the Asian century. "This is happening right in front of our eyes and we are under increasing pressure to choose one side," he said.
He said there are evidences that China is replacing the United States as a world power and that the European Union needs to adopt a stronger policy towards China. He said that the European Union must put its interests and values first and avoid becoming a tool of anyone. He said that Europe needs to cultivate a common strategic culture which it does not have at present.
As we see, China-US tensions are affecting the whole world. Its negative effects on global markets are also being observed. Policymakers in the world's major capitals are currently considering strategies for a changing world. Pakistan can also make the changing world a dilemma or an opportunity for itself.
This requires both caution and action. Where caution is necessary, it would be foolish to miss an opportunity. By making progress in the agreement with China, Iran has provided another opportunity for Pakistan. Iran has given a signal of its future strategy by withdrawing plans to build a railway line from Chahbahar to the northern border with India. Pakistan urgently needs to formulate a policy to take advantage of new opportunities. China can be more supportive in this regard.