Narcissistic Western elites regard themselves ‘civilized’ in face of China, Russia
Published: Jul 20, 2021 08:24 PM
Illustration: Chen Xia/GT

Illustration: Chen Xia/GT

"Civilized nations' efforts to deter Russia and China are starting to add up" - this is the title of an opinion written by George Will in the Washington Post on Friday. The article took the examples of the British Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender's Black Sea mission, the HMS Queen Elizabeth's acts in the South China Sea and US-Japan joint military exercises, trying to explain how "civilized nations are, in word and deed, taking small but cumulatively consequential measures that serve deterrence" of China and Russia.

By using the word "civilized," the author is obviously implying China and Russia are the "uncivilized" ones. This is a typical Western condescension, with a strong sense of superiority that tries to conceal its inner anxiety.

The title has also triggered criticism from many Chinese and foreign netizens. A comment on Twitter reads, "So it seems the Washington Post isn't even bothering to hide its imperialism anymore. This narrative of 'civilized' countries versus the implied 'uncivilized' is a racist and Western-centric narrative."

The US and some Western countries regard themselves as "civilized," but their acts are brutal. The examples mentioned in the article prove how barbaric these countries are. These countries have wantonly interfered in other countries' internal affairs and even promoted law of the jungle in the international community. As a Chinese netizen commented on Weibo, "The US and the West have stigmatized concepts of freedom and democracy, and now they are doing the same thing to the word 'civilized.'"

Western countries have stubbornly ignored the facts, and are obsessed with the dualistic thinking of black or white when it comes to the differences between East and West - civilization and barbarism, progress and degradation, democracy and autocracy. The US and its "like-minded" countries narcissistically regard themselves as the bright side, and others are the dark side. "Washington hopes to form a so-called alliance of global 'civilizations' to fight China and Russia," Zhang Tengjun, an assistant research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

But such an approach of the US is doomed to fail. Andrey Bystritskiy, chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club, said in a recent interview with the Global Times: "If I may say so, the United States and its allies are the past, clinging to their privileges. Russia and China are the future." 

Competition among countries as a confrontation between civilization and barbarism reflects the deep-rooted anxiety within the Western world. "The US and the West are now unable to achieve their goals through normal and benign competition. Therefore, they have to use such labeling to demonize other countries, especially China and Russia, to gain some psychological superiority. In essence, this is a manifestation of the end of Western hegemony," Zhang said.

The US has spared no effort to incite Western hostility toward China and Russia. However, the US and Western society will gradually realize that they cannot forcefully create an international system dominated by themselves, excluding China and Russia. This is an inevitable result of the development of a civilized international society.

The economic, technological and military strengths of China and Russia are not only huge, but also have a wide-ranging influence. The US and the West are increasingly unable to provoke China and Russia at the same time. It will become Washington's nightmare if its provocation forces Beijing and Moscow to jointly deal with it.