Opinion / Wang Hui

US can't shun its responsibility in refugee crisis

By Wang Hui (China Daily) Updated: 2015-09-16 09:57

The massive influx of refugees into the EU, however, is not an overnight development. The rise of the Islamic State in the Middle East is the result of the long unrest and armed conflicts in countries like Syria, Iraq and Libya, which in turn forced millions of people to seek shelter elsewhere including Europe.

More importantly, the chaos and armed conflicts in these countries can be traced to the US' interventionist Middle East policy that has created security vacuums - a fertile soil for breeding extremist and terrorist groups, the IS group in particular.

Yet the US seems least interested in giving its Middle East policy a rethink, let alone contributing more resources and energy to ending the IS menace or rehabilitating the refugees. When developing countries such as Brazil, Venezuela and Chile in South America have officially announced their willingness to take in some of the refugees fleeing the Middle East, the response from the US can only be described as detached, if not pathetic.

But despite its indifferent attitude to the refugee crisis, the US has to take the responsibility for whatever has been happening in the Middle East and Europe today.

Even before the US supported the rebels in Syria in a bid to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whom it considers its enemy, the wars it started in Iraq and Afghanistan had forced millions of people to flee their homes and seek shelter in neighboring countries. However, since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Washington has only accepted about 1,500 Syrian refugees.

Therefore, it's time the US-led West addressed the root cause of the refugee crisis, which is a backlash of its interventionist policy in the Middle East.

The author is a senior writer with China Daily.

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