This is what drives the actions of the Great Game players in the Empire. Even though both economies in China a Russia have morphed into capitalist systems, thus ending the Cold War, they are much too independent to be tolerated by the directors of the US Empire.
Capitalism is all about private entities engaging in unending competition to secure resources and compliant labor to obtain their riches and power. There is presently one top dog in this contest so far--the Empire led by the capitalist elites of NATO countries. China and Russia are much too big and powerful, and Iran too independent, to follow their orders. Meanwhile, North Korea and Cuba are also targets for Empire retribution because they still outlaw private economic property. Hence, the vigorous attempts by Empire actors to thwart the economic development of these countries.
This situation is only marginally better than what existed in the Cold War when Russia and China, both of which possessed nuclear weapons, formally outlawed private ownership of an economy. If you need reminding on this point, think only of the horrendous world wars in the 20th century between Anglo-American and German capitalist empires for world dominance.
Pepe Escobar, probably more than any other journalist, has been following this "game" for a long time. Back in 2010, he wrote referencing Bob Woodward's book Obama's Wars:
What Woodward's book - and the corporate media orchestrated narrative - will never tell is "why" infinite war. Because of the New Great Game in Eurasia. Because of the need of military bases to spy on strategic competitors Russia and China. Because of the US's obsession with Pipelineistan in Central Asia bypassing both Russia and Iran. Because of the Pentagon's full spectrum dominance doctrine - which justifies infinitely ballooning military budgets.