By Zhong Sheng
Facts have proven time and again that the erroneous remarks and acts of the U.S. constitute the worst harm to international order.
Since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the U.S., instead of promoting peace talks, has taken the conflict as an opportunity to heighten an atmosphere of the friend-enemy binary narrative.
Some politicians in the U.S. have deliberately stressed “the West”, claimed that “the West is now stronger and more united than it has ever been”, and praised the U.S. as a defender of rules-based international order, while unscrupulously coercing other countries into taking sides, attempting to make other countries irrevocably committed to its own ideology.
Behind such actions of simply dividing the world in different blocs and stoking division and confrontation in the international community is America’s logic of bloc confrontation featuring Cold War mentality, which runs counter to the prevailing trend of the times that all countries share a common future.
American foreign policy since World War II has been based on a simple idea: “Either you are with us or against us. America should lead, allies should follow, and woe be to countries that oppose its primacy,” as pointed out by Jeffrey D. Sachs, a professor with Columbia University.
The true colors of the U.S., a bully that does not care about international order, have become more evident since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
In order to form an anti-Russia alliance, the U.S. has imposed pressure on other countries by making appeal, publishing statements, among other means, forcing them to make a choice for “how they want to appear in books on the Ukraine crisis.”
After all these measures failed, the U.S. brazenly threatened other countries with sanctions and even spread disinformation to smear and intimidate them. Centered on the principle of America First and U.S. supremacy, America’s foreign policy is aimed at maintaining hegemony and bullying others, and has never had anything to do with equality and mutual respect.
Dialogue and negotiations are the only correct way of Russia-Ukraine conflict settlement, while coercing other countries into taking sides would only disturb efforts made to resolve the crisis.
Many countries have expressed explicitly their refusal to follow the U.S. in taking hostile position or actions against Russia. They believe that unilateral sanctions not only couldn’t solve any problem, but can trigger humanitarian crisis of a larger scale and add to the suffering of ordinary people.
There is disagreement over responding to the Ukraine crisis between most of the developing countries and Western countries including the U.S. The attitudes of these developing countries reflect their vigilance of acts that may escalate geopolitical confrontation, pointed out The Diplomat magazine.
Hegemonic acts of the U.S. have aroused repulsion among many countries, especially developing countries, and incurred widespread criticism.
The lawful rights and interests of a great number of developing countries have been violated, and they have been forced to choose sides or even give up their diplomatic autonomy, said Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra, stressing that this situation should not continue.
Many Internet users in developing countries pointed out that by bragging that more than 40 countries have joined it in imposing sanctions against Russia, the U.S. has revealed the fact that over 140 countries which constitute the overwhelming majority of the members of the United Nations (UN) haven’t.
Some netizens have shown the world through maps that the so-called “international community” referred to by the U.S. was in fact absolutely “the minority of the members” of the international community.
U.S. media outlets have also admitted that as the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict spills over into global politics, the West alliance, though seeming closer than ever, is experiencing unprecedented isolation.
While the U.S. has insisted on peddling bloc confrontation, it has received response from few countries, which has fully proven that hegemonism is against the general trend of history and that hegemonic acts are unpopular and should be abandoned long ago.
In the world, there is only one international system, i.e. the international system with the UN at its core. There is only one international order, i.e. the international order underpinned by international law. And there is only one set of rules, i.e. the basic norms governing international relations underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.
By flaunting the so-called “rules-based international order”, the U.S. is, as a matter of fact, replacing international rules generally accepted by the international community with rules made by a handful of countries; and by frequently resorting to long-arm jurisdiction, unilateral sanctions, and other measures, the U.S. is imposing its domestic rules upon the international community.
The U.S. has no right to represent the international community and is even less entitled to point fingers at other countries in the name of the international community.
Acts that run counter to the prevailing trend of world peace and development, such as playing up threats and creating confrontations, are inopportune and impossible to succeed.
Against the complex international landscape, adopting a simplistic approach of “friend or foe” and “black or white” in dealing with difference of opinions, and even using crisis as an opportunity to suppress other countries, will only cause bigger problems.
As a member of the global village, the U.S. shouldn’t attempt to substitute rules of the village with its domestic rules, let alone allowing the hegemonic doctrine of America First to undermine international order or U.S. hegemony to trample on international rules.
As the world is faced with combined impacts of profound changes and a pandemic both unseen in a century as well as various crises, what it wants from major countries is stability and certainty, rather than destruction.
(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy and international affairs.)