The world is on the threshold of a new Cold War. To avoid confusion, it is to be referred to as the Second Cold War, in contrast to the First Cold War between the USSR and the United States. The new war will be waged between the United States and China. The First Cold War was largely a war of ideas, with socialism and capitalism competing to define the path of global development. The USSR lost as soon as it renounced the socialist idea. The present war is a strictly imperialistic affair, for there is no particular difference between the US and China. Both countries are concerned with expanding their influence, gaining access to resources, promoting their goods on the markets of dependent countries, and claiming the mantle of the global hegemon within the global market system.
The broad use by China and the US of carrots and sticks in relation to foreign countries will create new tensions, thus forcing states to make difficult trade-offs. Deliberately, inadvertently or by compulsion, states may align their policies and interests with one power or the other. The choices that these states make will lead to one of two consequences: either they will entrench the positions of the US or China by adding heft to their geopolitical ambition. Alternately, they will fuel the Second Cold War as both the US and China compete to limit their respective spheres of influence.
For Russia and India, these choices are even more consequential. Both are large powers with a significant stake in any future balance of power. Further, both are China’s immediate neighbor and exercise influence over huge expanses of the Indian and Arctic oceans as well as the North Eurasian plains. Their policy priorities will determine not only the future of the Second Cold War and that of China and the US but their own future as well.Moscow and New Delhi may respond by forming an unofficial, non-military alliance, which could be termed the Peaceful Development Movement. The aim of forging such a space of co-development would be to continue positive globalization while also searching for fairer alternatives to the existing world order.