Most Europeans think a new cold war has been unfolding between the United States and its chief geopolitical rivals, China and Russia, a report says.
The report by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) on Wednesday and based on polling 12 European Union (EU) countries found that nearly 63 percent of EU citizens believe there is a new cold war developing between China and the US, with only 15 percent disagreeing.
With regards to Russia, 59 percent of Europeans think a new cold war is emerging between Washington and Moscow. Only 16 percent disagree with the idea.
The report shows Europeans consider EU institutions to be more likely than their own governments to be in a cold war with China and Russia alongside Washington.
About 31 percent believe the EU is probably or definitely in a cold war with China.
With regard to Russia, 44 percent agree the EU is engaged in a cold war, while only 26 percent disagree.
The ‘new West’ is a coalition between Washington and Brussels rather than between the US and Europe, the report said.
The authors of the report warned of an expanding gulf between national approaches and the more hawkish position of the EU’s political leadership in Brussels.
“The European public thinks there is a new cold war – but they don't want to have anything to do with it. Our polling reveals that a ‘cold war’ framing risks alienating European voters,” said the co-author and founding director of the ECFR, Mark Leonard.
“Politicians can no longer rely on tensions with Russia and China to convince the electorate of the value of a strong Atlantic alliance. Instead, they need to make the case from European interests, showing how a rebalanced alliance can empower and restore sovereignty to European citizens in a dangerous world.”
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently voiced concern over another potential cold war between the United States and China, urging the world’s two major economic powers to fix their “completely dysfunctional” relationship as soon as possible.
“We need to avoid at all cost a Cold War that would be different from the past one, and probably more dangerous and more difficult to manage,” Guterres said.
Washington and Beijing have clashed over a range of issues, including climate, trade, technology, human rights, economics, online security and sovereignty in the South China Sea.