China takes American hegemony head-on
In a rare scathing essay, Beijing’s foreign ministry has blasted Washington’s every effort at world domination
The Chinese foreign ministry has published an essay titled ‘US Hegemony and Its Perils’, a scathing attack on the United States and its attempts to effectively rule the world.
The essay was widely shared throughout Chinese state media outlets and was probably the harshest thing they’ve ever published at least as far as Washington is concerned. It coincides with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent address and attacks the US across a broad spectrum of topics, outlining Washington’s multi-pronged efforts to achieve and maintain exclusive dominance over the entire planet. This includes military action, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as interference in internal political affairs of countries in the form of coups and revolutions.
The essay discussed the Arab Spring, US interference in Latin America including the CIA coup in Chile and attempts to undermine the government of Cuba and Venezuela, and the number of “color revolutions” in former Soviet states such as Ukraine, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan. It went on to condemn how Washington weaponizes the subject of democracy and forces countries to take sides, branded the US a country “characterized by violence and expansion” that crushes its opponents with sanctions and “economic coercion” and claimed the (US) dollar of being “the main source of instability and uncertainty in the world economy.”
Never has China’s foreign ministry launched such a blistering attack on the US. For many years, despite Washington’s turn to hostility towards Beijing, China has been overwhelmingly restrained when it comes to the US. For a long time, it held to the belief that America can be engaged with, that somehow the country can be brought to reason, and that the US-China bilateral relationship can be improved and stabilized. It once held the belief that after the departure of the Donald Trump administration, things could be returned to “normal” under Joe Biden.
That belief could not have been more wrong. After two years in office, the Biden administration has shown itself to be more belligerent and hawkish on China than Trump and his colleagues had ever been, and ties have gone from one new low to another, with the Biden presidency having transformed US policy from a series of “America First” Trumpian grievances over trade, to an all-encompassing campaign of military and strategic containment which has dramatically escalated tensions. Trump was a negotiator, who wanted to make trade deals with China to suit American interests using tariffs as leverage, whereas the word “compromise” does not exist in Biden’s vocabulary.
The Biden administration has repeatedly claimed it wants “guardrails” and “lines of communication” with Beijing, but its actions have shown its real intentions, from allowing Nancy Pelosi’s highly provocative visit to Taiwan, to stoking paranoia over a balloon, to forcing countries to cut off supplies to China’s entire semiconductor industry. The conclusion that Beijing has finally arrived at is that when it comes to the United States, there is no serious dialogue to be had. It is a waste of time. China faces a belligerent, hegemonic and bad-faith actor who seeks to contain it and strategically crush it at all costs.
The US is forcing a change in China’s foreign policy. For many decades, China’s philosophy was to avoid confrontation with Washington and seek cooperation, to prevent the Americans from moving towards policies of Cold War containment and blocking its economic development, which is the Communist Party’s overarching domestic priority. This is why even when the US was turning hostile, China remained ambivalent and restrained for a long time. It wanted to believe the relationship with America could be rescued, and these policies could be offset.
China now recognizes that its best bet is not appeasing Washington, but that its continued development and prosperity depends on sustaining a multipolar world where American power is diluted. China has formally identified American hegemony as the biggest source of instability, chaos, inequality and conflict in the world, mirroring comments made by Vladimir Putin.
As such, the US has no interest in accepting or coming to terms with the rise of any other country which challenges its monopoly on global power, believing its hegemony to be some sort of divine right, and leaving little hope for “stability”. It will do everything it can to try and contain China and break up its integration with the global economy. While this does not mean Beijing will do something reckless or risk-prone, it does mean it has finally woken up to the challenge it faces and is no longer, after decades of cordial ties, starry-eyed or deluded about the true nature of the American regime.