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Op-ed: Hegemonic practices of US will finally lead to failure

By Zhong Sheng (People's Daily)    14:43, May 28, 2019

There’s a proverb in the western world that self-knowledge is the most valuable knowledge. However, some US politicians, who are just not able to have a clear knowledge of themselves and the global situation, are still stubbornly following the outdated hegemonic approach.

With the strategy of “America first”, these US politicians have never cared about the interests of other countries or the common welfare of global citizens.

They started the trade war under the excuse that the US is losing in its trade with China, but keep silent about the huge profits they have gained from the relationship. They make frequent statements that other countries have posed threat on US national security, but turn mute on their globally-reaching intelligence network. They strongly criticize international organizations such as the WTO, but make no mention of the fact that the US is a major founder and the largest beneficiary of the current global governance system.

White House National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro even said bluntly that other countries dare not to take retaliatory measures against the US because of the great power of the latter. Such arrogance revealed what truly lies under the slogan of “Make America great again”.

The bullying and arbitrary practices of the US are supported by the hegemonic logic of the country that US rules apply to the whole world and other countries must compromise to ensure US interests.

From the “economic aggression” theory by US Vice President Mike Pence, to the fallacy made by Navarro that Chinese commodities are mortgaging America’s future, and to the statement of former White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon that exporting of Chinese excess capacity gutted the upper Midwest of the United States, these US politicians take normal economic exchanges as “nails” and wish to hammer them. They are not willing to see the Chinese people live in a well-off society just like Americans do.

Under the banner of “America first”, some US politicians just cannot keep a lid on their impulses and even started attacking their allies. Not long ago, Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel expressed her views on the cracking foundation of the post-World War II order and the deterioration of trans-Atlantic ties. The US is becoming a rival of global countries.

Why the US politicians are still dreaming about the “chosen nation” and “shining city upon a hill”? It’s because they still believe in the old philosophy that might is right, and perceives the world with a “law-of-the-jungle” mentality. Besides, they are taking international relations as a “clash of civilizations”.

This explains why the US government always calls itself a monitor of global orders and a judge of international relations.

With the irreversible trend of today’s multi-polarization, economic globalization, cultural diversification and social informatization, the US is still considering itself a savior of the world and taking the globe as its “backyard garden” where it can act arbitrarily and do everything it wants to. It is even making attempts to stop the building of a community with a shared future with the so-called “America first” policy.

At present, the US hegemony has aroused anger from across the world. Even some US enterprises are making adjustments in reaction to the pressure from the US government. A series of “made-in-America” companies including Harley-Davidson, Inc., have “escaped” from the US, and Exxon Mobil Corporation and Tesla are also building factories in China.

However, the US hegemony is nothing but a wishful thinking. According to American scholar Stephen Roach, the US had merchandise trade deficits with 102 countries in 2018, which reflected the extreme insufficiency of the country’s domestic savings – a situation caused by the rash approvals of budget deficit made by the congress and decision makers.

Some scholars attributed the inequality in the US to its wrong policies, rather than economic globalization. Unfortunately, some US politicians made wrong prescriptions, and called other countries a barrier on the way to “make America great again”.

Blaming the others for its own mistakes, the US will miss the opportunity for self-improvement and hurt the country and people via the diversion of domestic contradictions.

US scholar Robert Kagan argues that America’s decline is being actively willed by unnamed “politicians and policymakers”, and they are “in danger of committing pre-emptive superpower suicide out of a misplaced fear of declining power”.

No country in the world is willing to be manipulated by other countries in human history. Mutual respect, sincere cooperation and win-win benefits should be the principle held by each country when it comes to international relations.

Of course, it’s not easy for the arrogant US politicians to be aware of this. The bright side is that facts don’t lie and speak louder than words.

There is an idiom in China that ultimate power incurs humiliation. Any country that deviates from the path of win-win cooperation and sticks to zero-sum games, disobeys rules for fair competition and pressures others, and goes against the trend of economic globalization and resorts to conservatism will end up losing.

Hegemony will only consume the power of a nation and accelerate the process of its recession. Such cases are just prevalent in history.

(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People's Daily to express its views on foreign policy.) 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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