Cold War II?

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MOSCOW: Is the Cold War heating up again? China and Russia's table-pounding at the Security Council over the ongoing Iraq attack is still mostly show. But history could look back on Operation Desert Fox as the U.S. snub that drove the once loaded-with-nukes and future loaded-with-money superpowers into a fearsome pairing. "This is the first time in years that a Russo-Chinese alliance really looks possible," says TIME Moscow bureau chief Paul Quinn-Judge. "Both countries feel that the U.S. is treating them like second-class world citizens, and there's a general political feeling that they have to start fighting back."

Special Report Which is not to say that the Pentagon needs to budget for WWIII just yet. "If Russia put its troops on alert, the world would crack up laughing," says Quinn-Judge. "And it still needs money from the International Monetary Fund. So it's in the worst possible position to be angry right now." But Quinn-Judge says that Russia's Prime Minister (and faux president) Yevgeny Primakov sees eye to eye with Chinese leader Jiang Zemin on a lot of international issues -- including his grumpiness about the current unipolar world. "If Primakov is around past his current term or becomes president," he says, "he has a very long memory."