Opinion / Wang Hui

US should end playing role of world policeman

By Wang Hui (China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-28 08:00

US should end playing role of world policeman

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg (R) and Georgia's Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili attend a NATO-Georgia Commission meeting in Tbilisi, Georgia September 7, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former prime minister of Denmark and former secretary-general of NATO, contributed an article in The Wall Street Journal last week saying the United States should play the role of the world's policeman. His one-sided argument is based on the perception that only the US has the material and moral greatness to stop the world from sliding into chaos and to foster peace.

It is highly likely that even in today's world when the waning of US power has turned from a hidden fear into reality, some experts, especially in the West, may share the views of the former NATO chief. But, for others, any support for the world's sole superpower to continue playing the role of the world's policeman would be misleading as well as counterproductive.

Rasmussen may want to examine why the world seems poised to slide into chaos. This is a question truly insightful people even in the West can answer, not to talk about people whose countries have fallen victim to the US' interventionist policy in recent years. From Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq to Libya and Syria, some of the world's worst crises are the results of US actions.

Over the years, amid the fear of losing international leadership, the US has applied its interventionist policy to many parts of the world, imposing its will on others, forcing its values and Western democracy on non-Western countries and even waging wars by ignoring or sidestepping the UN Security Council.

Fifteen years after the US declared a "war on terror", the world faces an even greater threat from terrorists and extremist groups, and no country can claim to be immune from that threat. Washington's critics have attributed the rise of the Islamic State group in the Middle East to the US' meddling in the region, which has left a huge security vacuum and led to social unrests and thus created the soil that breeds terrorism and extremism.

Yet the world's sole superpower has been dragging its feet on fully cooperating with the forces willing to fight the IS group. It has failed to come up with a clear strategy to eliminate the threat posed by the IS and other terrorist groups to global security, inviting criticisms from both home and abroad.

It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that the US' unilateralism has posed a major challenge to the efforts to democratize international relations in recent years. As such, if the international community applauds such a global policeman, it will not be difficult to predict that the world will face more trouble and problems in the future.

The right thing for the rest of the world to do in the present circumstances is to prevent the US from being the world's policeman anymore, not least because it runs counter to the trend of the times of helping establish a fair and just international order.

Disputes and crises should be resolved through bilateral and multilateral platforms based on the norms governing international relations and doctrines enshrined in the UN Charter.

As for the US, the world's largest economy and the most powerful country in terms of military strength, it should start playing the role of a contributor to world peace and stability in a responsible and constructive manner. Equally importantly, it should stop interfering in other countries' internal affairs and exploiting other countries for its own interests.

Whoever wins the US presidential election in November needs to understand that the idea of the US playing the role of the world's policeman is not supported by a majority of countries in these times of win-win cooperation. If the US has any material and moral greatness, it should use it to advance the just cause of win-win cooperation.

The author is deputy editor-in-chief of China Daily Asia Pacific.

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