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'China again?' New US claims don't hold water

By Seymur Mammadov | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-01-14 09:03
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The US State Department has launched a new batch of accusations against China, blaming it for undermining world stability and many other sins. The charges themselves, judging by the number of points, are more like a sentence.

So the State Department believes the PRC is violating its obligations to the World Trade Organization, as well as international norms and standards, and the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative allegedly damages the economies of countries, undermines their rule of law and infringes on sovereignty.

Reflecting on these accusations, we can confidently say they are extremely dubious. We can also say the United States is hypocritical in all these areas. It accuses China of these things primarily because the US is concerned about the scale of projects launched by China around the world, or rather, the growing influence that it is gaining Beijing as a result of its initiatives.

However, all of China's projects, including the initiative, have one important quality - they all bring enormous benefits and contribute to the development of the economies of the countries where they are being implemented.

For example, a study in the American Economic Journal shows every project funded by China leads to economic growth of 0.41 to 1.49 percentage points. According to Refinitiv, the Belt and Road Initiative by the end of June 2020 included more than 1.8 thousand projects worth $2.3 trillion. Of these, about 12.7 percent, worth $288.5 billion, have already been completed. The United States can hardly boast of such effective and large-scale cooperation with countries within the framework of one economic initiative.

As for the US accusations the investments of the Chinese government "create an unbearable debt burden, increasing local corruption," here too the argument, to put it mildly, does not hold water.

For example, China in June 2020 announced the suspension of debt claims for 77 developing countries as part of a G20 initiative. I think it is worth reminding everyone of China's free medical aid to many countries along the Belt and Road in the fight against coronavirus. Somehow, the US claims do not fit with these facts. Where is China's "predatory attitude" towards its partners?

Military aggression in the Indo-Pacific region is the next charge. The United States has a huge network of military bases around the world. No other country has such a network. The United States, unlike China, considers the whole world its sphere of influence, being present in many "burning" conflicts on the planet, like Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq; moreover, it often sends troops into countries while bypassing the vote of the UN Security Council, which directly and unconditionally undermines world stability.

As for the accusations of the State Department of "secret accumulation of nuclear weapons", Beijing can object to that, more than confidently. Hasn't the Trump administration been destroying global stability in this area in recent years, consistently withdrawing from almost all nuclear weapons limitation treaties? The United States withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Open Skies Treaty. The desire of Russia to prolong the treaty on the reduction of strategic offensive arms (START III) found no response from the United States. All of these moves endanger global security.

The State Department believes the Party restricts the rights and freedoms of Chinese citizens, including the country's Uygur minority group. This accusation is as ambiguous and biased as the claim the United States is the model of true democracy in the world.

Before accusing Beijing of violating human rights, Washington should recall the story of gross violations of Black rights – the cause of the Black Lives Matter movement. The total violation of the rights of African-Americans by the US police almost led to a civil war in the United States.

And how can the United States explain the fact the incumbent President Donald Trump and his supporters were restricted in their rights to freely express their thoughts by blocking their accounts on social networks? Is there a logical explanation for this? I wonder where the mechanism of "American democracy" broke down.

As for the constant accusations of China of violating the rights of the Uygurs, in response to this, one should immediately ask what happened to the rights of the indigenous people of the United States - Native Americans, and why is this so rarely remembered in Washington?

Let's go further. Environmental indicators of China, according to the State Department, are cause for serious concern. It turns out China, according to the US, is the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases and marine debris.

However, in the creation of these horror stories, the US is being selective. One of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions is the United States. And if we recall the obligations of the United States under the Kyoto Protocol to comply with greenhouse gas standards, they have always had problems complying with their emission limits, and often simply ignored them.

The US withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, in fact, put the issue of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the world under direct threat. How can we talk about reducing CO2 emissions on the planet if one of its main producers refuses to uphold its contractual obligations?

In addition, China is constantly engaged in large-scale work, investing in various projects to combat carbon dioxide emissions. Moreover, Beijing is working on the prevention of climate change harder than the United States. Since 2013, the PRC has managed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 4.2 percent thanks to carefully thought out structural changes in the economy. This was the conclusion of experts from three British universities, who published a study in journal Nature Geoscience in 2018.

So, after listing and analyzing the above points, the question is - what, in the opinion of the State Department, inherent in China, cannot be addressed to the United States?

The author is director of the international experts' club EurAsiaAz, and editor-in-chief of Azerbaijan's news agency Vzglyad.az. The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of China Daily and China Daily website.

If you have a specific expertise and would like to contribute to China Daily, please contact us at opinion@chinadaily.com.cn , and comment@chinadaily.com.cn

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