SINGAPORE (Mar 11): My youth was dominated by the Cold War and the war in Vietnam. I read as widely as I could, trying to sift the truth from the propaganda, the unbalanced reporting and, at times, the outright lies being fed to the public by politicians from both sides. The media carried war-like language and the language of war was used by Russia, the US and the North and South Vietnamese governments.

Uncomfortably, I am again hearing war-like language in the media, but with an important difference. Speaking in Sydney on March 5, respected historian Niall Ferguson claimed, “As the strategic and technological rivalry between the two sides intensifies over issues such as Huawei and the contested South China Sea, Australia really has only one choice, which is to back the US. Conflict is inevitable.”

US media talks of a new cold war and the need to stop China from achieving supremacy in quantum computing, artificial intelligence and other hi-tech areas.

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