A recent Financial Times article referred to the current back-and-forth between President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping as a “technological Cold War”. With each passing day, this sentiment only rings more true. In his struggle to establish a clear theme by which to mark his Presidential tenure, Biden has sought to protect American semiconductor technology from China. In response, Xi Jinping has stifled the flow of germanium and gallium, both of which are crucial resources used in microchip production. Perhaps enthused by the widespread support America has enjoyed in condemning the war in Ukraine, President Biden must now walk a tightrope. The two situations are vastly different, and a carefully considered approach should now be taken. Whereas Russia engaged in what has been widely criticised as an act of war, Biden’s aggression with regard to China may not be greeted with similar levels of support internationally. China and the US need not be best friends. But, for the sake of the rest of the world, it is essential that they at least remain acquaintances rather than brutal rivals. The moves are, at least in part, motivated to protect the technological ace America currently holds. But the implications of this policy are much deeper: they threaten to create an increasingly polarised diplomatic scene-where third-party governments are forced to pick between Washington and Beijing. Biden’s bizarre move to brand Xi Jinping a “dictator” just a few days before Secretary of State Anthony Blicken’s visit didn’t help. By taking China on, President Biden may hope to signpost his administration’s most memorable policy to date. This would make sense given that the election cycle is heating up and his tenure thus far has not been especially noteworthy. But he must remember that in making these drastic decisions, he is not just impacting domestic politics; he is driving a threatening wedge between the world’s two most pre-eminent forces. That is not to say that America shouldn’t protect its national interests. America’s technological development has long been-and has continued to be-remarkable. The sensitive nature of semiconductor technology is one of the reasons it is so in demand. However, being the most important and impactful country in the world comes with great responsibility. Biden must act in a more cautious manner. Provoking Beijing-and its robust manufacturing capabilities-does not seem a productive use of time. The world has only recently put the pandemic and its economic havoc in the rearview mirror; the Russia-Ukraine war remains a continued concern. In these conditions especially, a second cold war is not needed. The ruin it can wreak will bring about more harm than good. China and the US need not be best friends. But, for the sake of the rest of the world, it is essential that they at least remain acquaintances rather than brutal rivals. The writer is a freelance columnist.