OPINION / VIEWPOINT
West insane to think it has ‘freedom’ to threaten security, interests of others
Published: Mar 23, 2021 08:02 PM
Look, Uncle Sam is busy cleaning up its own mess on human rights problems. Does the US still think it's the beacon of human rights? Illustration: GT

Look, Uncle Sam is busy cleaning up its own mess on human rights problems. Does the US still think it's the beacon of human rights? Illustration: GT



On Monday, Norbert Röttgen, chairman of the Bundestag's Committee on Foreign Affairs, tweeted, "It is our freedom that China feels threatened by."

Earlier that day, Chinese Foreign Ministry announced to "sanction 10 individuals and four entities on the EU side that severely harm China's sovereignty and interests and maliciously spread lies and disinformation."

In a sense, this shows that some political elites in the US and the EU are in a morbid state of mind. Röttgen's remark is a logical mess. China does not feel threatened by Europe's freedom. It feels threatened by Europe's "freedom" to endorse sanctions against the country based on so-called human rights issues in China. It is such a "freedom" that threatens the security and interests of China and its citizens. If a country thinks it is threatened, it is only natural that it has to defend itself and fight back.

The West seems to be delusional, thinking that its freedom and its view of freedom are so powerful that they frighten every other "non-free" nation out of its wits. What caused this insanity? The deeply embedded arrogance and self-centeredness of the West stemmed from their preeminent position in world affairs, their abuse of such preeminent position, and a set of theoretical systems they the West has created to justify such abuse.

The West has long since lost its mind. Yet the West is powerful, so much so that its irrationality could not be seen. Today, China is not afraid of the power of the West, and it can confront Europe and the US and pushback when it is unfairly suppressed by the West. As a result, the West's obsession with so-called "freedom" can be finally seen.

Someone questioned whether what Röttgen said about Europe's freedom means that Europe has the freedom to accuse other countries based on disinformation. What Europe and the US mean by freedom is actually quite simple. In the eyes of the West, the so-called freedom is the universal value of human kind. In other words, only the West represents humanity. And only the freedom in the eyes of the West is the freedom that represents all of humanity.  

Therefore, all actions taken against the will of Europe and the US are equal to being actions "against human beings and universal values". That's why they impose sanctions on China in the name of freedom. For the West, freedom is not a tool to suppress just China, but a tool to suppress everything that is non-Western.

Many people think that there is a double standard in the Western view of freedom. However, in fact, there is only one standard in the Western view of freedom: that is to maintain the hegemony of Europe and the US. But this is something that only the US and Europe can do, and only they know how to do. If any others want to try, they must be guided or judged under European or US' standards. In short, the US and Europe believe that only they are free, and the freedom of other countries needs to be certified by them.

The West has been proud of its freedom of speech and tried to impose its vision of freedom on the rest of the world. The essence of the Western view of freedom is a set of rhetorical techniques invented by the West. This was done to beautify its behavior in order to expand, conquer, and plunder other countries by force. The truth is that Europe and the US have realized that their strength is unable to support themselves to do so.

They thought they could contain China by brainwashing Chinese people and people from other countries. However, Western values are not a panacea. The West only finds out that other countries are not buying their set of standards. Western values are not welcomed by some countries in Asia, for instance. 

In the face of the West's perverted views that equality is a threat, we should actively take countermeasures. It's useless to reason with gangsters. Chinese people should stay confident. China also needs to adjust its mentality. It is not necessary for China to urgently seek recognition from the West.

The author is professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs of Fudan University. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn
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