In the 21st century, the relationship between the United States and China, the two most influential world powers, largely shapes the general geopolitical situation in the world and affects the development of all other international actors. That is why it is important to highlight the emergent sharp cleavage between the two largest world economies, linked by intensive economic, financial, technological and humanitarian contacts. The main motive for the confrontation on the American side is that the United States is unwilling to share its sphere of influence with China, while Beijing is steadfastly increasing its economic might. The US national security strategy labels China and Russia as major adversaries. One of the most vivid manifestations of remapping the world and spheres of influence was the trade war between the USA and China in 2018–2019, which became a global phenomenon. The article examines why the US-China relations might escalate into an all-out war in the long term. Identified is a number of unresolved contradictions within the existing formats of international communication, which have been exacerbated during D. Trump tenure. Also, the article shows the overall evolution of the situation in which neither Beijing nor Washington could avoid a conflict of interests without losing their current status. This might be illustrated by numerous predictions in the US mass culture about a coming «battle of for Anchorage». By way of conclusion, the author argues that the conflict between the USA and China is of a deep systemic nature and offers a prognosis on how it might escalate in the coming years.
China; the USA; trade war; confrontation.