US should look at itself before pointing fingers at other countries
I love the Chinese noodles at a place in Midtown Manhattan. But whenever I eat there, I try to eat them as quietly as possible because slurping is regarded as unacceptable in the United States.
In Chinese and Japanese culture, slurping is not only acceptable but regarded as a sign that the noodle or ramen is delicious. To me, biting mouthfuls of noodles, as people in the US do instead of slurping, is painful.
On the other hand, nose-blowing at the dinner table, viewed as bad manners in China, is common even in fine restaurants in the US. It's hard to understand why folks blow as hard as they can.
The comparison is reminiscent of the frequent finger-pointing at China by many in the US. China's behavior has often been described as "disruptive,""provocative," and a "challenge to the status quo and global order" while the US proclaims it is trying to keep peace and stability around the world.
China's launch of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was depicted by many in the US as a challenge to the existing global system, in particular the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, despite the fact that heads of the two banks, plus the International Monetary Fund, all welcomed the new addition due to the acute shortage of needed infrastructure financing in the region.
In October, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson rebuked China claiming it was subverting the global order, undermining the sovereignty of its neighbors and for being an irresponsible international actor. He charged that China's lending practices have saddled nations with "enormous levels of debt". US President Donald Trump, in his National Security Strategy speech on Dec 18, said Russia and China "seek to challenge American influence, values, and wealth".
Yet anyone following US behavior would find these labels fit the US.
For example, the US' recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Dec 6 against the strong opposition of the world; its reduction of funding to the United Nations announced on Sunday by its ambassador to the organization Nikki Haley; its withdrawal from the Paris climate accord in June and from UNESCO in October.
If these are not disruptive behaviors that challenge the global order, then I don't know what are. If China had done any of these things, US officials, news media and some pundits would be having a field day orchestrating a new smear campaign against China.
But if these were US "misdemeanors", here are some "felonies": On April 7, the US launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles into the sovereign nation of Syria before any international investigation was conducted into the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government.
And an on-the-ground investigation by The New York Times Magazine found that "one out of every five" airstrikes in Iraq conducted by US-led coalition resulted in civilian deaths, in contrast to the Pentagon narrative that only 89 of the coalition's more than 14,000 airstrikes in Iraq, or about one of every 157 strikes, killed any civilians.
Airwars, a London-based journalist-led transparency project that monitors and assesses civilian casualties from international strikes in Iraq, Syria and Libya, reported that airstrikes by the US-led coalition have killed at least 5,975 Iraqi civilians. That is a massacre. And that is just the airstrikes in that country.
According to the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, in 2016 alone, the US dropped 12,192 bombs in Syria and 12,095 bombs in Iraq.
It's hard to imagine how words like "disruptive" and "undermining sovereignty" can apply to China when the US behaves like this.
The author is deputy editor of China Daily USA.