In recent times, a burgeoning rivalry between the US and allies, and China has begun to intensify. In this, the common view is that the US feels threatened by an increasingly powerful China. Yet, China has no real stated objectives of challenging American world dominance. Conversely, China has been on course to avoiding a full-fledged confrontation with the US and allies for years. Over decades, official Chinese government discourse has consistently centered on righting historical wrongs that were meted out to China over the past century and a half, mostly as a result of extant colonial enterprise. This view is usually mated with a stated Chinese aspiration to end poverty and forge a “moderately prosperous society”. Similarly, any and all international disputes that China has, and which are often touted as proof of Chinese aspiration to setback American power and dominate the world, are related to China’s neighbors. As such, none of the disputes pose any real, existential threat to the US, NATO or other US allies. Therefore, one is left wondering why the US and allies are so intent upon setting up a confrontation with China. Usually commentators proffer the view that an economically powerful China will challenge American and western economic hegemony. While that might be, history has also shown that a rising economic power can just as likely join the hegemonic clique. A case in point is Japan. Into the 1980s and 90s, when Japan was also registering its own meteoric rise – also backed by technological innovation, manufacturing prowess and cheap exports – there were concerns around Japan displacing the US. However, over time, Japan has instead joined the “Global North”, become part of the current world order and is now counted amongst the countries that feel threatened by China’s rise. Thus, the cause for current concerns around China’s rise may be more than just apprehensions over loss of economic hegemony. While the cause(s) will naturally be complex and dynamic, I will point out one aspect that is underestimated in the Global South and is generally unacknowledged in the Global North: Continuing psycho-cultural, Orientalist fear of the “East” or, as in here, of the Chinese. Over the centuries, the “East” has often been viewed with fear, suspicion and hostility. There is actually quite a history to this that begins in the 13th century. Here, when the Mongols were galvanized by Genghis Khan into becoming a world power, they also invaded Europe. Not only that the Mongol hordes wrought defeat, death, destruction, pillaging, et al, upon Europe, they also remained unstoppable for a very long time. Now, that experience of continual Mongol invasions sunk a fear of the “East”. One should remember that this was an era of the crusades, and the Church was highly mobilized and influential during this period. As the Mongols decimated European power structures and killed off political leadership, it came upon the Church to become a site of resistance. As a response, the Church did what it knew best how to do: It used religion to foster resistance to the Mongols. Here, in particular, the Christian Bible in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 16, Verse 12, mentions demonic “Kings from the East” who are meant to come as a flood, and trigger a final apocalypse. It is possible that this was invoked by the Church to create a specter of a ‘final war’ between belief and disbelief, between the heathen marauders and the ‘good’ Christendom. Indeed, at one point in 1241, Pope Gregory IX even ordered an unsuccessful crusade (or, ‘holy war’) against the Mongols. This apocalyptic “end of the world” image seems to have stuck and, then, seems to have persevered through a continuum provided by the enduring and influential Church. So powerful has been its impact that it has reverberated through the centuries. Whenever an eastern power has arisen, European powers have resorted to Biblical, mostly apocalyptical, tropes to reframe the challenge as one between the rightly guided Christian world and the evil of a heathen East. All of this is well documented. Always, Easterners are painted as ungodly and heathen (‘godless communist China’); inherently corrupt and base (‘China manipulates currency and global trade regulations; steals intellectual property; copies western products’); driven by evil, occult powers (‘China conducts cyber-espionage’); and, ultimately, uncivilized and in need of superior western assistance (‘China lacks democracy, is economically illiberal and a threat to a rules-based international system’). One need only to pick up any event that saw a China-vs-West confrontation to see how things panned out. During the British-Chinese Opium Wars of 1840s, British media painted the Chinese as base, uncivilized, almost subhuman criminals. During the anti-colonial Boxer Rebellion of 1899-1901, western media was rife with references to the Chinese “flooding” western-dominated regions (in a throwback to the “Kings of the East” trope) and perpetrating unspeakable crimes upon westerners (a throwback to the Mongol invasions). In this case particularly, the Chinese anti-colonists were essentially attacking western colonial collaborators and actual western casualties were low. Yet, eight European powers got together, landed armies in China, and sacked Beijing in one of the most brutal and gruesome instances of war crimes in recorded history. Similarly, in the US – a country settled by Europeans – the Chinese became an object of racist and xenophobic hatred as early as 1870s. This is because an expanding America was in need for cheap labor. In 1868, the US signed the Burlingame Treaty with China, allowing import of labor. Soon after, American labor began to agitate against the Chinese saying they were taking away “American jobs” (sound familiar?). Over the next two decades, local Americans formed anti-Chinese leagues, carried out pogroms and enacted discriminatory laws specifically targeted onto Chinese (see, for example, Anti-Coolie Act, 1862; Page Act, 1875; Chinese Exclusion Act, 1882, among others). Surrounding all these hardly-remembered events were racist, stereotypical tropes of uncouth, uncivilized, base Easterners inundating the civilized west in an effort to decimate its society and polity. Over time, these extant mores mutated in multiple and interesting ways. The geo-politics of 20th century Europe saw rise of the specter of the “Yellow Peril”, whereby Imperial Japan was seen to pose a threat to Russian and German Empires; and the Kuomintang of Chiang Kaishek was seen as fighting for western ideals of democracy and liberal economy as part of China’s Civil War. The notion of “Yellow Peril” eventually mutated into the “Red Scare”. Here, old religious, xenophobic and colonial discursive frameworks were reformulated into anti-communist tropes. Notions of “oriental despotism” were resurrected in the shape of concepts of “totalitarianism”. Based on these, an ideational, abstracted (Cold) war was consummated, supposedly, between western liberal democracy and authoritarian communist regimes. Reverberations of all this can be seen rippling through western cultural production. Note, for example, the Chinese evil villain, Dr. Fu Manchu who featured in at least 14 popular Max Rohmer novels and one Hollywood movie. In all of them, Dr. Fu Manchu was shown as being out on a quest to destroy western civilization and dominate the world. There are countless other essentially Chinese evil characters that have appeared in innumerable western novels, plays, movies, and more. Thus, with all said and done, the core thesis here has been that the concerns of the US and its allies over China’s rise on the world stage have, at least in part, to do with extant psycho-cultural fears and anxieties. Some of them are rooted in Medieval historical events, while others have been context-specific, often regionalized, responses to conditions obtained in certain areas at certain points in time. Yet others have been products of imperialism, colonialism and, later, an anti-Communist Cold War. While this article has tried to present a broad, summary-like, but ultimately inexhaustive, context to the core thesis, deeper engagement with history and acknowledgment of influence of such psycho-cultural mores on present-day geopolitical policy-making can help develop political clarity, reduce cultural tension and, ultimately, help mitigate confrontation between China and, the US and allies.