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International rules are not a puppet in the hands of US politicians

By Zhong Sheng (People's Daily)    10:41, June 13, 2019

In the eyes of some US politicians, the world is a theater of monodrama for America, while the international rules are just a puppet in their hands. In this monodrama, it is the United States that decides how the story goes.

So, is there any justice in this world? How can the hard-won international rules be protected?

At present, politicians in Washington are making fabulous speeches about fair competition, while pressuring the enterprises of other countries in the name of the so-called “national security”. They demand “free, fair and reciprocal trade”, but are simply bypassing the multilateral mechanisms to exert extreme pressure.

On one hand, these politicians accused other countries of violating the rules; on the other hand, they are putting domestic laws above international laws. They even called the countermeasures of China and the European Union a “groundless legal theory”.

There are just too many cases of the US breaking promises – the withdrawals from UNESCO, the Human Rights Council, and Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, as well as quitting the Paris Agreement, the Global Compact on Refugees and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The rules-based global order is “clearly under threat”, said European Council President Donald Tusk, adding that it’s shocking that the threat was made by the US who took the lead to build the order. His remarks expressed the strong opposition against the US practices of the international community.

It’s true that the rule-based international order was established under the propelling of the US after World War II. However, the country is now threatening to break the order as it sees that the current rules are not able to satisfy its appetite of “America first”. It is forcefully turning the rule-based order into a jungle law by which only the strong survive.

The US politicians, who use whatever that suits their interests and abandon whatever that does not, see international rules as a puppet, which exposed their extreme selfishness.

To maximize their private interests, they destroyed the rule-based system that has been widely accepted by each country and left the world in a mess. Besides, they revealed their hypocrisy and tried to place developing countries at the bottom of the industrial chain for eternity.

According to a WTO report, the US is by far the largest rule breaker that has disobeyed the organization’s arbitrations. 2/3 of the violations within the WTO framework were caused by the country.

By neglecting the rules and using whatever they can, the US politicians take the exchanges between major countries as a zero sum game. They constantly seek and create enemies, and are trapped in a delusion disorder that their country is always threatened.

However, the real enemy of the US is not other countries, but the country itself that acts arbitrarily and goes after unilateralism.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said recently at the 25th International Conference on the Future of Asia that “US wants to have a situation where it’s always ahead and when I (US) am not ahead, I will ban you and send warships to your country, that is not competition, that is threatening people.”

US politicians have seriously overestimated themselves and underestimated other countries. They fail to see the irreversible trend of the time – peace, development and cooperation, as well as economic globalization.

Especially when information technology is developing rapidly and emerging countries are rising, both global production and international relations are undergoing dramatic changes, which decided that the new round of economic globalization is for most of the people in the world, and will be jointly led by developing and developed countries.

The US politicians should pay attention to this trend and rules, and stop their anti-globalization practices, or they will lose the opportunity in this new round of economic globalization.

The monodrama, in which the US politicians trample on rules, will not gain any good reputation.

A Japanese scholar pointed out that America is abusing its monopoly power over technologies by slapping sanctions on Chinese enterprises, and is undermining the rule-based international order, while a Bloomberg editorial believes that the US attack on Chinese companies is a serious mistake.

Even the New York Times admitted that the US has repeatedly agreed to new trade terms with foreign partners, then talked about undoing those deals to achieve additional goals.

These US politicians will finally find out that the manipulation of rules will end up hurting both themselves and others. The damage on the international economic order is destined to impede global growth and undermine strategic mutual trust among countries, while suspicion, fear and hostility that are extremely destructive will soar.

When rules are lucrative, the US exploits them; when rules are unfavorable, the US breaks them. The practices of the US politicians using whatever that suits their interests and abandoning whatever that does not indeed originated from supremacy and hegemony.

However, today’s world is not a place for pure muscle competition any longer. Those who challenge rules with power and try to crush order like play dough are bound to be rejected by the world and end up in an isolated situation with destroyed image and no good result.

(Zhong Sheng is a pen name used by People's Daily to express 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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