Former PM Stephen Harper sees new Cold War, this time between U.S. and China

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OTTAWA — Former prime minister Stephen Harper says the world order has returned to a kind of Cold War between two superpowers, this time between the United States and China.

While middle-power countries like Canada have a role to play in that war, Harper told a defence conference today that they can't try to set their own courses completely independent of the big two.

Following the Second World War, the U.S. and its allies engaged in a prolonged Cold War with the Soviet Union and its communist allies.

But Harper says Russia today has devolved into being what he calls "the world's biggest disrupter," with a comparatively small economy that puts it out of the same league as China and the U.S.

He says the U.S. remains the world's pre-eminent power but it is no longer as dominant as it once was, in part because it stepped away from its traditional leadership role.

As for Europe, Harper says it is no longer a player on international peace and security issues.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press