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Keynote one: The new Cold War
Insecurity and conflict remain inevitable by-products of the anarchic international system. As China’s power increases and definition of national interests grow, Beijing will continue be more assertive in areas on which its security and prosperity depend: think of its escalating defence build-up, persistent cyber-espionage and global meddling, pumped-up nationalism, huge propaganda and disinformation campaigns, forceful takeover of Hong Kong and growing intimidation of Taiwan, aggressive build-up of military outposts beyond its border in the South China Sea, and so on. As the global hegemon, the US is going to great lengths to stop the rising power from dominating Asia. As a result, Washington will try pivot to Asia, deepen security ties with allies, develop new strategic partnerships with old foes and draw a line in the sand — in this case, water — by checking Beijing’s ambitions.