Skip to Main Content

Is the United States in a New Cold War with China?

56.5% yes
43.5% no

In the past few years, some members of the U.S. government and academic community have argued that our country is in a new Cold War with China. For decades, the United States and China have economic and geopolitical interests that have often clashed. In fact, the United States did not normalize its relations with China until 1979. This normalization of relations led to immense economic cooperation, but tensions have again begun to rise. Does this rise indicate the United States is entering a new Cold War with China? Or is this simply the outgrowth of normal economic competition?

Those who argue that the U.S. is in a new cold war with China argue that the two countries are in a geopolitical struggle for dominance in global affairs. They contend that China’s rapid advancements in technology and economic growth threaten the United States, which have brought the two into competition. This side also points to examples like China’s aggressive stance towards Taiwan, the United States’ assistance with Australia to create nuclear submarines, and the fact that one country is democratic while the other is autocratic to show that they are locked in a cold war struggle.

Those who argue that the U.S. is not in a new cold war with China argue that framing the two nations’ relationship as such is misguided. They argue that the two countries are not deadlocked in competition like the United States and Soviet Union had been. Instead, this side claims that China and the United States have strong economic ties that benefit both sides, making claims of a cold war existing an overreaction. While they may agree that there have been some recent tensions between the two countries, they contend that there is ultimately no military competition that would be seen in a true cold war.

So, what do you think? Is the United States in a New Cold War with China? Students can answer Yes, it is; No, it is not; or a nuanced answer in between! Be sure to submit your answer by January 11th for it to be considered for this week’s contest.

Note: Ideal Think the Vote responses include the following:

  • Address the question asked in a thoughtful and meaningful manner
  • Use cited facts and constitutional arguments when appropriate to support their answers
  • Are expressed in cohesive sentences and are free of distracting spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors
  • They address counter-arguments and opposing concerns in a respectful manner
  • They organize their answer in a manner that flows logically and reads clearly


For this question, BRI will be giving away two $25 gift cards, one to each person providing the best defense of each side of the debate. Both students will also win BRI swag. Each student winner will also be entered for a chance to win a grand prize of a $1,000 cash scholarship. Additionally, the referring teachers for both students will each win a $25 gift card and BRI swag.

This question will run from 1/10/22 to 1/18/22, so be sure to submit your answers in time to be considered for our prizes!

(For rules/regulations click HERE)

Reading materials

Recent debates