[Answered] “The USA is facing an existential threat in the form of a China, that is much more challenging than the erstwhile Soviet Union.” Explain.

The rise of China as a major global power, threatening the hegemonic power of the United States, has resulted in the debate of a new Cold War emanating between the two economic powers. Thus, comparisons are being made about the threat faced by the US from China vis-a-vis the threat that was posed by the Soviet Union. 

Challenges faced by the USA from China compared to the erstwhile Soviet Union 

1. the Soviet Union led the Eastern bloc during the Cold War era through its military and ideological might. China, on the other hand, competes in administrative models and governance.
2. Compared with the largely theoretical promises of communism of the Soviet Union, China’s real-life achievements with its development model appeal to many developing countries. Meanwhile, democracy and freedom have been on a sustained decline around the world over the past fifteen years.
3. The Soviet Union openly and directly regarded the United States as its enemy, which it could hardly co-exist with. China seeks to construct a “new model of major-country relationship” with the United States. Thus, making the threat more veiled and more dangerous.
4. China has not aimed to foster revolution and regime change—as the Soviet Union did—but worked with ruling elites, offering trade and investment opportunities without criticizing them for violations of human rights, corruption, or authoritarianism, as the US does. This has gained many allies for China in the developing world.
5. Compared to the Cold War era, the contemporary global economy is more integrated, especially with China being the top trading partner of many countries, thus an indispensable unit of global trade.
6. While the Soviet Union exhausted its economy while competing with the US in defense and space, China has kept its economy growing and is poised to overtake the US as the largest economy.
7. China is well-placed and planning to capitalize on emerging technologies, while the Soviet Union lost the war on the technological front long before its demise.  

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