No Cold War With China: Messaging Guidance

No Cold War With China Large

Last Updated on April 23, 2021.

The foreign policy establishment has put us on the path to a new Cold War with China.
China’s recent rise in influence has been met with a bipartisan campaign of hostility and fearmongering — an aggressive posture that risks plunging us into a dangerous new Cold War.


Cold War posturing is used to distract from domestic issues  — it benefits authoritarians, war hawks, and the corporate elite, not the people.
Scapegoating a foreign “threat” is a tried-and-true tactic of distracting from domestic problems, keeping the profits flowing for arms manufacturers, and promoting economic nationalist policies that benefit segments of the corporate elite at the expense of workers in the U.S. and China alike.

From the pandemic to the climate crisis, the global security threats of today demand cooperation with China, not competition.
COVID-19, the climate crisis, nuclear proliferation, a global economic system that benefits the few at the expense of the many — these problems cannot be solved unilaterally. They will require working with China.

Addressing our serious concerns with the actions of the Chinese government will require multilateralism, cooperation, and diplomacy — not hostility.
The United States should address areas of grave concern with the Chinese government’s actions in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and elsewhere through good-faith, multilateral diplomacy and cooperation, while strengthening global rules that protect workers and vulnerable groups in both the U.S. and China.

There is no threat from China that can be solved through further military buildup or economic antagonism.
The U.S. war machine is already dangerously powerful. It has more than enough capacity to deter any Chinese military aggression, and a further buildup will only result in a perilous and costly arms race. Trade wars and economic aggression, meanwhile, do nothing to address underlying issues of inequality, poverty, or exploitation of workers in the U.S. or China.

Fearmongering about China fans the flames of racism and xenophobia.
Fueled by decades of China-bashing from both sides of the aisle, hate crimes and xenophobic attacks on people of East Asian descent in the United States are on the rise.

Overly-antagonistic policies undermine the struggles of people in China fighting for change.
Threats of violence, aggressive rhetoric, and arms races do nothing to help the people of China fighting for human rights and improvements to the political and economic system. In fact, given the U.S.’s rocky moral standing, strong-arming more often undermines struggles for change.

We can stop the new Cold War — by building people-powered movements for peace.
The people don’t want a new Cold War. And the people can stop it. Grassroots movements must work together to build power across borders and fight for rights, equality, and justice in China, the U.S., and beyond.

Download a PDF of this Messaging Guidance here.
For a more detailed version, see here.

January 22, 2021