By: Wang Wen Source: Global Times Published: 2020-04-28
It's unthinkable that US media outlets would call their own country a "failed state." The term was once used to describe US adversaries such as Iran and Iraq.
The US think tank Fund for Peace started its annual report called Failed States Index in 2005. It has been renamed the Fragile States Index and is produced jointly with Foreign Policy magazine. It didn't take long for the US to be included in the index.
US political scientist Francis Fukuyama, who once believed history would end with liberal democracy as the final form of government for all countries, has since changed his mind, writing in his 2016 article "America: the failed state" that the US should give up "entirely on global leadership." In another article titled "We Are Living in a Failed State" published by The Atlantic, staff writer George Packer said that the coronavirus has made the US "a beggar nation in utter chaos" and that "like France in 1940, America in 2020 has stunned itself with a collapse that's larger and deeper than one miserable leader."
Many people in China who once worshiped the US are not taking any pleasure in witnessing the decline of the US. China cares about Americans.
"As of April 20, China had provided the US with over 2.46 billion masks, meaning seven masks for each [person] in the US, plus nearly 5,000 ventilators" and many other types of medical equipment, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Twitter on Thursday.
China does need to take a lesson from the US and examine why the once great country has failed to protect its people, fallen into political division, been stunned by corruption and unparalleled social divide?
China must continue to be wary of US radical policies, including making China a scapegoat for its failures. The news site Politico reported on Friday, that the National Republican Senatorial Committee "has sent [election] campaigns a detailed, 57-page memo authored by a top Republican strategist advising GOP candidates to address the coronavirus crisis by aggressively attacking China." According to Politico, "Republicans have indicated they plan to make China a centerpiece of the 2020 campaign."
Attempts to stigmatize China reflect the degradation of the US. The Trump administration's radical policies that at first seem to create an advantage actually damage the US.
Over the last three years, the Trump administration has nearly destroyed the foundation of international order that's been in place since the end of the Cold War. It has pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Paris Agreement, the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and many other international treaties and organizations.
Over the past three months, the Trump administration has doubled the Federal Reserve's balance sheet via measures including quantitative easing and strong stimulus policies, making US dollar the most unstable factor in the global monetary order. It has also severely shaken the international financial system. Global assets are now facing the risk of suddenly plunging or skyrocketing at any time.
Over the past three weeks, the Trump administration has escalated the international oil price war, causing oil prices to collapse. For the first time in history, crude oil was trading at negative prices on April 20, disturbing the global energy market, and making the US withdraw from the oil hegemony system that it has maintained for half a century.
Over the past three seconds, Trump might have made even more startling statements again. Numerous people are wondering how the US system can tolerate such a person as a president. The Washington Consensus is dead, the beacon of democracy, freedom and human rights that the US has long adhered to has collapsed.
The current US government, which most US elites are dissatisfied with, is not only hurting itself, it also wants to harm China. The US scapegoating China makes the US look like some immoral person spitting at an innocent person. The signing of the TAIPEI Act and seeking compensation from China for coronavirus losses are without doubt equivalent to clenching its fists and getting ready to throw punches.
It is like a bad kid who gets low marks, blames others and even undermines their chances of passing the exam.
China will not get stuck in the blame game with the US, nor will it become a grave good of a declining US. Going its own way is still key for China. China is confident of doing a good job in not only containing the virus, but also resuming economic activities.
It is a pity that the Trump administration seems to have opened this Pandora's box, allowing fighting, division, unpredictability and selfishness to spread around the world. The US is no longer the world's dominant force, but it is still powerful. If it continues its willful misbehavior, Washington will bring disaster not only to the US, but all of human kind.
Nobel laureate in economics, Joseph E. Stiglitz, once wisely noted; "The only way forward, the only way to save our planet and our civilization, is a rebirth of history. We must revitalize the Enlightenment and recommit to honoring its values of freedom, respect for knowledge and democracy."
The author is professor and executive dean of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, and executive director of China-US People-to-People Exchange Research Center.