Hubris and hegemony the bane of US policy
As the trade conflict between China and the United States threatens to develop into a full-blown trade war, complaints and criticism about US hubris and hegemony have become rampant. The US-China trade conflict may be the biggest global issue since the Sept 11, 2001 attacks and the 2008 global financial crisis, and it is having the worst impact on bilateral relations in the 21st century.
The remarkable achievements of China have unfortunately become an excuse for the US to devise more and more strategies to contain China's rise. As China has been reiterating, it is strongly opposed to any kind of trade war, because it knows full well there is no winner in a trade war.
Complaints and criticism about the US' irresponsible behaviors when it comes to tackling climate change and other global issues are also rising. Despite being home to only 5 percent of the world's population, the US produces about 25 percent of its carbon dioxide emissions and cocks a snook at the fight against climate change. US President Donald Trump has pulled the US out of the 2015 Paris climate accord, overturned the Barack Obama administration's environmentally friendly policies, and even threatened to withdraw from the World Trade Organization in total disregard to its global responsibilities as the world's largest economy.
Commerce, power and culture are the values Washington think tanks attach the greatest importance to. So, if the US does not like a country's economic policies or political system, it doesn't hesitate to misuse the WTO or the International Monetary Fund to crush them. If that does not work, it turns to sanctions to browbeat them into surrendering or uses military interventions to overthrow the ruling government. If this is not hegemony, what is?
The US has always excelled in using its hegemonic power to prevent people in other countries from choosing their path of economic development and way of life.
The Trump administration has been criticized for its increasingly unacceptable foreign policy and appalling, immature and shortsighted attitude toward such global issues as financing and the arms race. Even some of the US' traditional allies have turned against it. Never has the US been so isolated in the international community. And for that, it has its policy of giving precedence to self-interests over its global responsibilities to blame.
There is an obvious disconnect between the perceptions of the US and the rest of the world of what is right and what is wrong. The US administration has to widen its perspective to see the bigger picture that the world is and abandon its hubris.
Instead of using double standards to view the concerns of the rest of the world, the US has to seriously review its role as a big responsible power, even though it is not known to indulge in self-reflection. But only introspection and honest examination of its faults can help a country sincerely evaluate its character. And the US is no exception.
The author is an associate professor at the Institute of Foreign Languages and Cultures at Xiamen University, Fujian province.