“A ‘cold war 2.0’ between the United States and China could lead to an ideological struggle to the death in cyberspace”

Dhe heights of Ladakh, in the north of India, in the Strait of Miyako, in the south of Japan, multiple military tensions oppose a Western bloc, led by the United States of America, to the People’s Republic of China. This clash explains, in part, why Australia unfairly broke the agreement to deliver French submarines in order to line up under the more showy banner of an alliance system with America. Above all, it places at the center of the game a small island of 24 million inhabitants, Taiwan, which the People’s Republic of China wants to annex. However, unlike the totalitarian regime of Xi Jinping, Taiwan is today a liberal democracy on Chinese soil even more advanced than France, according to the Freedom House, a non-governmental organization funded by the US government; and an industrial power with which the United States trades more than with France. It is the West Berlin of this new cold war which does not mean its name.

This United States-China shock, with Taiwan at its heart, had been one of the bets of a novel of anticipation, Babel Minute Zero (Folio “policier”, 2010), published fourteen years ago and committed by the author of these lines. In Israel, where the novel has been read to the head of state, it is above all the new role of information technologies in the struggle between states that has interested. This revolution is an essential key to this “cold war 2.0”.

Observation of the balance of power

America’s awakening to China is not recent. Hired in the fall of 2011, he was envisaged, from the end of the 1990s, by some of the future influential members of the Bush Jr. administration, evoking within the think tank Project for New American Century an ascension of China, future great rival capable of exploiting transformational information technologies. These conservatives, many now anti-Trumpists, join pro-Trump Democrats and Republicans on this point in a consensus based not on ideology, but on an observation of the balance of power.

Read the analysis: Article reserved for our subscribers The “new cold war” between China and the United States: a dubious paradigm

Because China is today a technological superpower. It has the largest installed base of Internet users in the world, with one billion Internet users in 2021, three times that of the United States. Uses can be more advanced there: 40% thus practice e-commerce in the form of a live video presentation. It outperforms its American rival in telecommunications equipment – 3.5 times more global sales – or commercial drones – twenty times more. In 2020, it had as many industrial robots as the United States, Japan, Germany and South Korea combined. Since this year, it has also exceeded the United States in the number of research articles published and cited in the field of artificial intelligence (AI).

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“A ‘cold war 2.0’ between the United States and China could lead to an ideological struggle to the death in cyberspace”