The signal wasn't subtle.
While China practiced amphibious landings in a contested area of the South China Sea this month, the U.S. Navy dispatched two aircraft carriers to the area "to support a free and open Indo-Pacific," the Navy said in a statement.
It's unclear how close the American and Chinese warships got to one another. But it was among the more dramatic recent illustrations of how U.S.-China relations have veered into what some experts are calling a new version of the Cold War.
Another inflection point came Tuesday. First, the British government reversed its decision and announced that equipment made by the Chinese tech giant Huawei would be banned from the country's 5G networks, a blow to one of China's leading companies.
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