By Zhong Sheng
Everybody conscious knows who are overturning the current international rule system and betraying international promises and obligations, as some U.S. politicians, led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have well proved it by their “America first” approach, as well as practices that trample on rules and go against justice.
However, these U.S. politicians are still shamelessly accusing China of overturning the rule system. Such hegemonic acts are nothing but best examples of deception.
Following the “America first” approach, the U.S. has practiced unilateralism and hegemonism to the fullest. By using whatever that suits its interests and abandoning whatever that does not, it is imposing huge threats to and destroying the international rule system.
Signatories of international treaties must shoulder corresponding international responsibilities and obligations, which is the most basic common sense. However, these U.S. politicians are just doing the opposite.
The U.S., neglecting the Universal Postal Union stipulation that poor and developing economies can enjoy lower shipping rates than developed countries, declared to withdraw from the organization in the excuse that countries shall adopt self-declared rates. The White House also neglected its international obligations to cope with climate change and help developing countries cut emission, and quit the Paris Agreement in less than a year since it submitted an instrument of ratification to the United Nations (UN). To divert public attention from its incapability of epidemic control, the White House unreasonably attacked and withdrew from the World Health Organization this year, at the most critical moment of the global fight against COVID-19.
The number of international treaties that the current U.S. administration has quit is the highest in history, and such practice exactly exposed the short-sightedness and hegemony of the U.S. Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations recently pointed out that the country is seen not just as less attractive and capable but also as less reliable, as it withdraws from multilateral agreements and distances itself from allies.
The “America first” approach has created huge damage to the universal international commercial rules. In the recent years, the White House has been starting trade disputes around the world, weaponizing tariffs and making national security a mighty shield against everything. It takes its trade partners as enemies, and blatantly violates the market rules of equal and free competition. It abuses the so-called national security and employed state resources to attack others, including suppressing a series of Chinese private firms such as Huawei, Byte Dance and Tecent. In essence, the country is bullying enterprises from other countries and trampling on commercial rules with state power. Such practices go against the market economy and equal competition rules the U.S. had long boasted, and damage international rules.
Some said that the U.S. government has violated the constitution and exceeded its authority by banning Chinese tech firms and requesting individuals and entities under the jurisdiction of the U.S. to stop trading with relevant Chinese firms and their subsidiaries.
“America first,” which indeed is “private interests first,” is a policy that contradicts the international rules safeguarding equity and justice. America economist Paul Krugman attributed the self-destructive behaviors of U.S. politicians to the fact that “They were all members of America’s cult of selfishness.” They replace globalism with “America first,” which in essence is a practice of placing political needs and private interests above global consensus, equity and justice. They will eat their bitter fruits.
In July, the U.S. once again hindered the restarting of the dispute settlement mechanism of the WTO, leading to lack of efficacy and security of the rule-based global trade system. What it did was opposed by multiple countries.
The U.S. has withdrawn from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, but it recently unreasonably requested to restore sanctions on Iran, which triggered opposition from other members of the UN Security Council. Even its allies from the European Union described the request as invalid. U.S. diplomats pointed out that the U.S. today in confronting with the world.
As a Chinese saying goes, the world community is equally shared by all. The U.S. politicians who try to overturn the current rule system will never succeed, and any practice that places private interests above the common interests of the world is doomed to fail.