The United States is launching a cold war against China, according to almost two thirds of Chinese researchers in a survey conducted by a Beijing-based think tank. A total of 62 out of the 100 respondents to the survey published by the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University agreed when asked “is the US launching a new cold war against China?” China, though, is able to cope with a possible new cold war offensive by the US, according to 90 per cent of the respondents. Questions could be raised over the accuracy of the results as, like political opinion surveys, views against official lines in China can often be suppressed. But it does offer evidence that China is leaning towards intensifying its rivalry with the US, having previously maintained a mainstream view that the bilateral relationship can be “neither too good nor too bad”. The full list of respondents was not published, but from the names provided, the survey contacted representatives from universities and think tanks in China, including the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Research Development Centre of the State Council. Tensions between Beijing and Washington are flaring on multiple fronts from the South China Sea, Xinjiang and Tibet, while the US is threatening to sanction Chinese individuals and institutions in response to the controversial national security law in Hong Kong. FBI director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday that China is the “greatest long-term threat” to the US as Beijing is seeking to become the world’s only superpower with a state-directed “campaign of theft and malign influence”. Today’s proponents of ‘rivalry partnership’ [with China] are overlooking the possibility that the Chinese aren’t interested in being frenemies. They know full well this is a cold war, because they started it Niall Ferguson Niall Ferguson, historian and a fellow at the Hoover Institution, wrote in an opinion piece published by Bloomberg News that a new cold war is the reality and that it is China, not the US, that started it. “Today’s proponents of ‘rivalry partnership’ [with China] are overlooking the possibility that the Chinese aren’t interested in being frenemies. They know full well this is a cold war, because they started it,” Ferguson wrote. A total of 58 per cent of the respondents to the survey by the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University, though, believe China and the US can avoid the Thucydides Trap, a term that describes an unavoidable conflict between an existing power and a challenger. A military conflict between China and the US is inevitable, according to 27 per cent of those surveyed, while 82 per cent feel the new cold war between the two nations would be different from the 1947-91 conflict between the US and the former Soviet Union due to greater economic interdependence. Officially Beijing is keen to maintain a good relationship with the US, while it is also committed to the implementation of the phase one trade deal, even though it is falling behind in its expected purchases of US farm goods and energy products. Vice-minister of foreign affairs, Le Yuecheng, said on Wednesday that a decoupling between the world’s two largest economies is “impractical” and would benefit no one. “We should cooperate wherever and whenever possible,” Le told a video conference co-hosted by the Asia Society and the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs.