Monday, February 27, 2023

China's Views on United States Hegemony - Part 1 - Political, Military and Economic Hegemony

An essay that recently appeared on the website of the Foreign Ministry of the People's Republic of China (FMPRC) focusses on China's views on Washington's involvement in global geopolitics since the end of the two World Wars and the Cold War.  Let's look at some excerpts from this essay, putting into perspective that the world's geopolitical landscape is evolving from a unipolar to a multipolar reality.  To keep this posting to a reasonable length, I will only focus on three of the five types of United States-based hegemony that are discussed in the essay.


The essay is titled "US Hegemony and Its Perils".  Here are the opening paragraphs with my bolds throughout this posting:


"Since becoming the world's most powerful country after the two world wars and the Cold War, the United States has acted more boldly to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, pursue, maintain and abuse hegemony, advance subversion and infiltration, and willfully wage wars, bringing harm to the international community.


The United States has developed a hegemonic playbook to stage "color revolutions," instigate regional disputes, and even directly launch wars under the guise of promoting democracy, freedom and human rights. Clinging to the Cold War mentality, the United States has ramped up bloc politics and stoked conflict and confrontation. It has overstretched the concept of national security, abused export controls and forced unilateral sanctions upon others. It has taken a selective approach to international law and rules, utilizing or discarding them as it sees fit, and has sought to impose rules that serve its own interests in the name of upholding a "rules-based international order."


As noted by the author, the "rules-based international order" exists solely to advance Washington's global agenda and punish nations and leaders who do not subscribe to the American view of the world.

Now, let's look at the first three sections of the essay:


1.) Political Hegemony - Throwing Its Weight Around:  In this section, we find a brief summary of how Washington has used its political, economic and military might to bully the world into a mold that is "acceptable":


"The United States has long been attempting to mold other countries and the world order with its own values and political system in the name of promoting democracy and human rights.


Instances of U.S. interference in other countries' internal affairs abound. In the name of "promoting democracy," the United States practiced a "Neo-Monroe Doctrine" in Latin America, instigated "color revolutions" in Eurasia, and orchestrated the "Arab Spring" in West Asia and North Africa, bringing chaos and disaster to many countries....


...the policies of successive U.S. governments toward Latin America and the Caribbean Region have been riddled with political interference, military intervention and regime subversion. From its 61-year hostility toward and blockade of Cuba to its overthrow of the Allende government of Chile, U.S. policy on this region has been built on one maxim-those who submit will prosper; those who resist shall perish.


The year 2003 marked the beginning of a succession of "color revolutions" -- the "Rose Revolution" in Georgia, the "Orange Revolution" in Ukraine and the "Tulip Revolution" in Kyrgyzstan. The U.S. Department of State openly admitted playing a "central role" in these "regime changes." The United States also interfered in the internal affairs of the Philippines, ousting President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. in 1986 and President Joseph Estrada in 2001 through the so-called "People Power Revolutions."


The essay mentions that Washington had also planned to intervene in Venezuela's 2018 election, far from m the first time that the United States has intervened in South America (think Allende/Pinochet in Chile in 1973).  The essay also misses some obvious other examples of interference including, most importantly, Iran and the overthrowing of Mohammad Mosaddegh and the installation of the Shah of Iran in 1953, a political move that has had a long history of unintended consequences.


In my opinion, here is the key paragraph of this section:


"The U.S. arbitrarily passes judgment on democracy in other countries, and fabricates a false narrative of "democracy versus authoritarianism" to incite estrangement, division, rivalry and confrontation. In December 2021, the United States hosted the first "Summit for Democracy," which drew criticism and opposition from many countries for making a mockery of the spirit of democracy and dividing the world. In March 2023, the United States will host another "Summit for Democracy," which remains unwelcome and will again find no support."


The sorry state of "democracy" in the United States should be the primary concern of the ruling class in  Washington but it would appear that as long as Corporate America keeps funding Congress, decision makers consider the American electoral system to be "healthy".


2.) "Military Hegemony - Wanton Use of Force: In this section, the author outlines the use of force by the United States since it gained independence from Great Britain in 1776.  Here are some quotes:


"The history of the United States is characterized by violence and expansion. Since it gained independence in 1776, the United States has constantly sought expansion by force: it slaughtered Indians, invaded Canada, waged a war against Mexico, instigated the American-Spanish War, and annexed Hawaii. After World War II, the wars either provoked or launched by the United States included the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the Kosovo War, the War in Afghanistan, the Iraq War, the Libyan War and the Syrian War, abusing its military hegemony to pave the way for expansionist objectives. In recent years, the U.S. average annual military budget has exceeded 700 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 40 percent of the world's total, more than the 15 countries behind it combined. The United States has about 800 overseas military bases, with 173,000 troops deployed in 159 countries.


According to the book "America Invades: How We've Invaded or been Militarily Involved with almost Every Country on Earth", the United States has fought or been militarily involved with almost all the 190-odd countries recognized by the United Nations with only three exceptions. The three countries were "spared" because the United States did not find them on the map....


According to a Tufts University report, "Introducing the Military Intervention Project: A new Dataset on U.S. Military Interventions, 1776-2019," the United States undertook nearly 400 military interventions globally between those years, 34 percent of which were in Latin America and the Caribbean, 23 percent in East Asia and the Pacific, 14 percent in the Middle East and North Africa, and 13 percent in Europe. Currently, its military intervention in the Middle East and North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa is on the rise."


The essayist observes that military actions by Washington have created humanitarian crises around the world.  Since 2001 alone, operations by the U.S. military have resulted in over 900,000 deaths (335,000 of those were civilians, injured millions and displaced tens of millions.


Key to America's military might are its use of brutal methods of warfare as quoted here:


"The United States has also adopted appalling methods in war. During the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the Kosovo War, the War in Afghanistan and the Iraq War, the United States used massive quantities of chemical and biological weapons as well as cluster bombs, fuel-air bombs, graphite bombs and depleted uranium bombs, causing enormous damage on civilian facilities, countless civilian casualties and lasting environmental pollution."


What is even more appalling is that these methods of warfare often end up severely damaging those that Washington sends to fight its battles including agent orange during the Vietnam War and chemical exposure during the Gulf War which resulted in Gulf War syndrome, actions that forced these veterans to fight for compensation.


3.) Economic Hegemony - Looting and Exploitation:  In this section, the author outlines how the United States uses the dollar's status as the world's reserve currency to to coerce other nations into serving its political and economic strategies.  Clearly, over the past few decades, Washington has waged economic war using a regime of economic sanctions that rarely seem to work as anticipated.  In case you were curious, here is a listing of the active sanctions programs from the U.S. Department of the Treasury website:


Some of these nations, for example Cuba, have been living under American sanctions for many decades and yet, they still aren't following the Washington-created "rules-based international order".


Here are some quotes from the Economy Hegemony section of the essay:


"The United States exploits the world's wealth with the help of "seigniorage." It costs only about 17 cents to produce a 100 dollar bill, but other countries had to pony up 100 dollar of actual goods in order to obtain one. It was pointed out more than half a century ago, that the United States enjoyed exorbitant privilege and deficit without tears created by its dollar, and used the worthless paper note to plunder the resources and factories of other nations....


The United States willfully suppresses its opponents with economic coercion. In the 1980s, to eliminate the economic threat posed by Japan, and to control and use the latter in service of America's strategic goal of confronting the Soviet Union and dominating the world..."


This is the key paragraph in this section:


"America's economic and financial hegemony has become a geopolitical weapon. Doubling down on unilateral sanctions and "long-arm jurisdiction," the United States has enacted such domestic laws as the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, and the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, and introduced a series of executive orders to sanction specific countries, organizations or individuals. Statistics show that U.S. sanctions against foreign entities increased by 933 percent from 2000 to 2021. The Trump administration alone has imposed more than 3,900 sanctions, which means three sanctions per day. So far, the United States had or has imposed economic sanctions on nearly 40 countries across the world, including Cuba, China, Russia, the DPRK, Iran and Venezuela, affecting nearly half of the world's population. "The United States of America" has turned itself into "the United States of Sanctions." And "long-arm jurisdiction" has been reduced to nothing but a tool for the United States to use its means of state power to suppress economic competitors and interfere in normal international business. This is a serious departure from the principles of liberal market economy that the United States has long boasted."


The paper continues by discussing two other types of American hegemony; technological and cultural which will be covered in Part 2 of this two-part posting.


Let's close with one of the two paragraphs in the conclusion of this essay:


'While a just cause wins its champion wide support, an unjust one condemns its pursuer to be an outcast. The hegemonic, domineering, and bullying practices of using strength to intimidate the weak, taking from others by force and subterfuge, and playing zero-sum games are exerting grave harm. The historical trends of peace, development, cooperation, and mutual benefit are unstoppable. The United States has been overriding truth with its power and trampling justice to serve self-interest. These unilateral, egoistic and regressive hegemonic practices have drawn growing, intense criticism and opposition from the international community."


American self-interest indeed.  That’s what it’s been about for the past eighty years.

No comments:

Post a Comment