US uses ‘ideological bias to split world,’ aims for confrontation
Published: Mar 28, 2023 10:43 PM
US democracy Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

US democracy Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

As the US will hold its second "Summit for Democracy" from Wednesday to Thursday, Chinese experts said that compared to the first summit in 2021, the latest event shows nothing new in nature - fake democracy but real hegemony, as the standard for inviting the guest countries is based on Washington's diplomatic preferences and serves its hegemonic strategy to split rather than unite the world with ideological bias.

The US is a country with messy internal governance, and the human rights situation in the country is in deep trouble. The US political system, with endless partisan struggles, continues to divide the nation and fails to solve problems of grave concerns to Americans, analysts said. Therefore, Washington is totally unqualified and is in no position to lecture others about democracy and "human rights," and the event will only make the US look even more awkward and embarrassed. 

According to the US Department of State, the "Summit for Democracy" will be held from March 29 to 30 with leaders from Costa Rica, the Netherlands, South Korea and Zambia participating. The US has also extended invitations to 120 foreign governments and other partners to attend the event, mainly via video links.

The criteria for invitation is very vague, as many countries with Western democratic political systems are not on the list. For instance, the EU member Hungary and the NATO member Turkey are apparently not included. Singapore, a small country with a developed economy which plays a key role to bridge the West and the East, has also not been invited. The US Department of State refused to discuss the criteria, media reported.

Fake democracy, real hegemony 

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday that the summit is all about forming an ideological platform for combating countries whom the American political elite labels as autocracies, primarily Russia and China.

"The US has no moral right to lecture others amid chronic domestic issues. This binary way of thinking in 'black-white' or 'good guys vs bad guys' does not work in real life. And it is in no way good for building long-term relations with sovereign countries," Zakharova said, according to Tass.

"We applaud the remarks of the Russian side," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a routine press conference on Tuesday. "We have stated our position on the so-called "Summit for Democracy" on multiple occasions. Despite the many problems at home, the US is hosting another "Summit for Democracy" in the name of promoting democracy, an event that blatantly draws an ideological line between countries and creates division in the world. The act violates the spirit of democracy and further reveals the US' pursuit of primacy behind the facade of democracy," Mao said.

Experts said just as at the first summit, the second summit will still be a platform for the US to use the pretexts of democracy and "human rights" to divide other countries and to gather a group of its followers to target another group of countries that refuse to obey the US hegemony. Many of those participants will be reluctant to simply follow US instructions to show hostility to countries that the US dislikes.

US President Joe Biden understands that the previous Trump administration  seriously damaged the image of US "democracy," and the fairytale of being a so-called beacon of democracy had basically collapsed. "So, he hopes to use the 'democracy summit' to restore the US' confidence, curb China's influence, and at least maintain an advantage of an ideological slogan in its competition with China," Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

Chang Jian, director of the Research Center for Human Rights at the Tianjin-based Nankai University, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the Biden administration is using "democracy" as a strategic tool. Such a summit is not inclusive but more hegemonic, which runs counter to the nature of democracy. 

Arrogant lecturer 

China's State Council Information Office on Tuesday issued its Report on Human Rights Violations in the US in 2022, revealing that human rights legislation and justice in the US  have seen an extreme regression, further undermining the basic rights and freedoms of the American people.

2022 witnessed a landmark setback for US human rights, the report said. In the US, a country which labels itself a "human rights defender," chronic afflictions such as money in politics, racial discrimination, gun and police violence, as well as wealth polarization are rampant, it noted.

The report said that the US is a country defined by extreme violence, where people are threatened by both violent crime and violent law enforcement, and their safety is far from being guaranteed. Prisons are overcrowded and have become a modern slavery establishment where forced labor and sexual exploitation are commonplace. The US' self-proclaimed civil rights and freedoms have become empty talk.

Since the first "democracy summit" in 2021, the bad situation of US "democracy" has not been improved, Lü said. "The latest shooting in Tennessee, where three children were killed, is living proof. The terrible gun problem has not been solved or eased at all, and it's even worsening. This, in fact, shows the infirmity of US 'democracy,'" he noted. 

A "democracy summit" under failed internal governance and countless social problems is meaningless, Lü said. "It might make sense if the participants at the summit were genuinely talking about how to solve the problems for US 'democracy.' But what the US wants them to do is hail the US as 'a beacon of democracy' in the world, and that the participants are 'democracies' with US recognition. They are supposed to follow the US leadership to lecture, oppose and confront those who are not 'democratic' enough. This brings nothing good and is harmful for the international community."

"The so-called summit is not a serious event. It is being used by the Biden administration to consolidate its domestic positions. Even within the US, the summit is not been taken seriously by many people. I don't think we should even pay attention to it," Alexander Lukin, director of the Center for East Asian and SCO Studies at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, told the Global Times in a previous interview.