Recently, US government officials on an official visit to Brussels have further spread their political virus of using the Ukraine crisis to attack and defame China. [menaçant Pékin de représailles au cas où la Chine passerait outre les sanctions contre la Russie] ; they seized the opportunity of the summit with the European Union to criticize China’s domestic policy without restraint [sur la situation des droits de l’homme et ses pratiques commerciales]. By throwing oil on the fire, the United States is obstructing peace talks and seeking to prolong the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
Engaged in coercive diplomacy, they do not hesitate to spread rumors about China, fishing in the troubled waters of this conflict to achieve the strategic objective they have set themselves: to limit China’s influence in the Asia-Pacific region and globally. So, while some are working for peace and stability on earth, others, clinging to their Cold War mentality, are putting it all at risk.
If some American politicians like to speak of a “rules-based international order”, it is to present themselves as its defenders. However, what they designate as “rules” are in reality only those binding together the members of their own clan, for their greatest benefit. Their “international order” really concerns only the “small circle” and their own political group. What they seek to defend is their own hegemony, ignoring the evolution of the world and the reality of international relations.
Defend the international order
The United States must understand that the strengthening of China is an inescapable historical trend. It would be better for these politicians to think about how to get along with a China that is not afraid to assume its great power responsibilities with ever greater confidence. The United States must understand that the days of a minority of countries manipulating world affairs are over. They must realize that to stand on the right side of history is to work for the defense of an international order articulated around the United Nations, based on its charter and international law.
If there is one country that does not hesitate to jeopardize the international order and trample on its rules, it is the United States. Didn’t they bomb Yugoslavia, and invade Iraq and Syria without the approval of the United Nations Security Council? Deaf to Russia’s security concerns, they have used NATO to exacerbate regional tensions. After the outbreak of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, without taking into account the difficulties of the recovery of the world economy or the fate of the populations, they only increased the sanctions unilaterally.
When they do as they please, how can we believe that the United States acts for the good of an international order based on the United Nations and international law? American officials have only rules and order in their mouths, but it is their own hegemony that they seek to impose.
responsible for tragedies
American politicians invent lies about the human rights situation in China, but they remain blind to the tragedies caused by their country in this area, showcasing the hypocrisy of a question used for political purposes. Isn’t the history of the United States marked by the genocide of Native Americans, and their society by persistent systemic racial discrimination?
The laxity with which they fought against the Covid-19 epidemic caused the death of nearly a million people. The United States has a habit of grossly interfering in the internal affairs of third countries and does not hesitate to start wars in the name of “democracy” and “human rights”.
On March 3, they had only admitted 12 Ukrainian refugees to their territory, even though they are the ones who are at the origin of the crisis with Russia, leaving thousands of other refugees from this country stranded in their border with Mexico. Isn’t the United States the least inclined country in the world to respect human rights? [Selon le Wall Street Journal, plus de 20 000 Ukrainiens ont pu entrer légalement par le Mexique, mais cette voie n’a plus cours et 200 personnes sont en attente au Mexique.]
Who offers opportunities to Europe, who threatens its security and prosperity? Facts speak louder than words. In 2020, China has become the European Union’s largest trading partner, just as the EU was for China in January and February 2022. Contrary to this spirit of Sino-European cooperation, the Member States States are using the Ukrainian crisis to hold Europe hostage. They pretend not to see that more than 5 million Ukrainian refugees have flocked to Europe, and incite it to intensify sanctions against Russia, resulting in annual inflation in the euro zone having reached an all-time high of 7, 4% in March.
At the same time, we are witnessing a prodigious rise in the share price of the American arms giants, while a large part of European investment in safe havens is now invested in the United States and the latter is preparing to sell larger quantities of gas to Europeans at a high price.
Europe must free itself from the American grip
China and Europe are two great powers committed to the preservation of peace in the world, two great markets conducive to joint development, two great civilizations driven by the desire to advance humanity. The stability of their relations contributes to alleviating the uncertainties of the international situation. Their collaboration in a spirit of openness contributes to meeting the challenges specific to the age of globalization.
By forging from scratch the fable of a “Chinese threat”, by orchestrating a competition hostile to China, by advocating its designation as a “systemic rival” [terme employé par l’Union européenne en 2019], the United States only displays its profoundly hegemonic character. The development of stable relations between China and Europe is unbearable for them. Europe, a major power for a multipolar world, must quickly adopt a more independent, objective and rational approach with regard to China, and acquire strategic autonomy.
Fine words do not deceive. Slandering a country can only lead to drifting away from its own objectives and losing the opportunity to respond to its own challenges as well as those of its time. Some American politicians should do their soul-searching, abandon their Cold War mentality and their clannish reflexes as soon as possible, and instead focus on taking real action in favor of development, peace and stability in the world.
Author: Zhong Sheng
This commentary is signed Zhong Sheng, a pen name that could literally be translated as “History”, but which by homophony is easily transformed into “Voice of China”. Since 2011, he has represented the international daily service Renmin Ribao, the organ of the Chinese Communist Party, and as such expresses an official line of the Chinese government.