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US must refrain from acting as 'preacher for democracy'

(People's Daily Online)

10:06, July 14, 2012

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during a recent visit to Asia that Asian countries should "expand human rights." By praising certain countries to obliquely attack China, Clinton was once again acting as a "preacher for human rights."

Who grants the United States the right to haughtily appraise Asia's democratic position? Americans may think it is a silly question, but it is exactly this question that may cause America's "return to Asia" strategy to fail.

The United States has recently conducted several military drills and increased military presence in Asia to enhance its role as a protector. It has also been holding high the banner of "democracy" and "human rights" to retain the moral high ground.

However, the United States has failed to understand two important aspects regarding its need to "return to Asia." First, it has let its attention slip in the region. Second, Asia's political and economic structures have undergone fundamental changes, and the U.S. status in the region must change accordingly.

Asian countries, particularly those in East Asia, have successfully resisted the global financial crisis caused by Western countries, and achieved relatively rapid economic growth. Regional cooperation has been booming, enjoying bright prospects.

Asian countries have made these achievements thanks to their ever-expanding win-win cooperation and active efforts to explore a development path suitable for their own national conditions.

Asia's development proves that Asian countries are able to solve their own problems and find a development path that is different from Western ones but suitable for their own national conditions and political systems.

There is no universally applicable democratic system. Facts have proved that it is those Asian countries which mechanically copy the U.S. democratic system unsuitable for their own conditions that have lagged behind their neighbors. Even today some of these countries have not recovered.

It is reasonable that the United States pays much attention to Asia's development and seeks to share in the fruits of the continent's development. No country is going to drive the United States out of Asia. If anything, Asian countries welcome the United States playing a more active role in promoting development and cooperation in the region.

In order to better engage in Asia's development, the United States must first adjust its mentality and refrain from acting as a "preacher for democracy."

Read the Chinese version:华盛顿应克制民主说教的冲动


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