From Salman Rafi Sheikh: He is a research analyst for international relations and Pakistan’s foreign and domestic policy, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
The so-called “Democracy Summit” recently held by the Biden government was not only divisive, but also a geopolitical rather than a normative event aimed at deliberating on the state of democracy as a system of government and politics. The fact that the US purposely excluded certain countries and then used the summit to target them specifically – China in particular – fits right into the narrative that the US has developed in recent years, about China, as well To portray Russia as “revisionist forces” that want to “destabilize” the world. According to Chinese media reports, the event, in which more than 100 countries participated in the name of democracy, was nothing less than a deliberate “arming of democracy” as a new form of the “iron curtain” from the Cold War, around the world in Western models and to divide up “democracies” preferred by the West and non-Western and non-Western “non-democracies”. It is a kind of arbitrary political division based on different systems of government that the United States created after World War II – a division that helped the United States to stand out as an advocate of the “free world” and the world before To protect “communists”. It’s that kind of divide again that the US is trying to create to strengthen its position against its global rivals who are trying to build a new, multipolar world order. The “democracy summit” is nothing more than an attempt by the USA to stage a “show of power” against its global rivals China and Russia.
While Biden did not mention China or Russia, he did not mince his words to refer to the so-called “autocrats” who want to “build their own power, export and expand their influence around the world.” It is an open secret that Biden – and numerous official US political documents – used these regressive terms to refer to China (as well as Russia) in order to build negative global perceptions about them. It is also an open secret that the Biden government intends to counter Russian and Chinese influence. As Biden himself pointed out, the US will spend millions of dollars around the world to get its message of “democracy” across. As history shows, US democracy aid is a discreet method of destabilizing established systems – countries that either refuse to ally with the US or that happen to be allied with US rivals. An integrated program to “strengthen democracies” around the world is thus a well-camouflaged strategy of regime change with which the US wants to turn the countries away from China and Russia. By presuming the right to undo “the regression on rights and democracy”, the US has allegedly positioned itself as an advocate of democracy, even though its own state of democracy has become questionable.
At the same time, the US championship is highly selective and partial. The “democracies” invited to the summit included countries which, even according to the Freedom House ranking cited by Biden himself, do not count as genuine democracies. More than 30 percent of the 110 countries Biden invited were rated “partially free”. While some are not “free” at all, those countries – the Philippines, India and Kenya – that are currently classified by Freedom House as “electoral autocracies” have also been invited. The decisions made by the US were not only strategic but also focused on China.
For example, while the US has tried to woo the Philippines with defense deals in order to dissuade them from China or to prevent them from getting too close to China, India is a key QUAD partner. The fact that the Biden government has been trying to revive – and militarize – the QUAD since it took office makes India a logical choice. Given the presence of so many potentially anti-China powers, the “Democracy Summit” is nothing less than a QUAD on a global scale.
The direct focus of the summit on China can also be seen in the fact that it took place at the same time as the diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in China under the leadership of the USA. This move is reminiscent of Cold War politics, when Jimmy Carter took some measures in 1980 to prevent American athletes from participating in the Moscow Olympics.
Biden’s approach is in complete contrast to his speech at the United Nations a few months ago in which he said he did not want to “split the world”. However, the US-led boycott of the Beijing Olympic Games – which the United Kingdom and Australia, the so-called AUKUS members, have joined – and the narrative he tried to build with the Democracy Summit clearly show that the Biden’s government is pursuing deeply divisive policies to restore a Cold War-like scenario or “Cold War 2.0”.
Given the narrative that the US is deliberately creating, this inevitably leads to a reaction from Russia and China, who want to challenge – and oppose – the Iron Curtain drawn by Biden. In a joint letter from the Russian and Chinese ambassadors to the USA, both countries reject the “right” of the USA to “determine who is allowed to participate in the event and who is not, who is a“ democratic country ”and who is for it Status is out of the question. ”The letter addressed to the US magazine The National Interest last month explicitly states that the US has a Cold War mentality – a policy that prefers conflict to engagement who prefers conflict to coexistence and aims to divide the world into blocks in order to maintain US hegemony in some form across the globe.
In short, the US wants to keep the old, US-centered global system it was able to build – and impose on the world – shortly after World War II. With the emergence of China and the resurgence of Russia after the Cold War, coupled with their concerted efforts to change the one-sided US-dominated, dollar-centered system, Washington faces the greatest challenge it has faced at the global level since the end Faced with the Cold War, the US push can only make sense in terms of a policy of hegemony structured as a zero-sum competition in which the gains made by China and Russia automatically become losses for the US.