Is it time for the United States to stop standing up for human rights and democratic reform in other nations and start taking its own advice at home? According to this article by the thought-to-be-fictitious Communist Party columnist Ding Gang, U.S. presidents should stop inflaming China by meeting the Dalai Lama and selling weapons to democratic Taiwan, and start figuring out how the U.S. fits into a 21st century world with an empowered China.
For China’s state-run Hanqui, someone using the pen name ‘Ding Gang’ writes in part:
The world has a country that is always very keen to promote political reform in other countries. It likes to help other nations design road maps for political reform, because it believes its own politics are supreme. The problems of other countries all appear tied to their political systems, while the problems of this country have nothing to do with its political system. The country in question is the United States of America.
For example, a few days ago President Obama met the Dalai Lama at the White House. Didn’t the U.S. government know that this would seriously damage China-U.S. relations? Apparently not. This is the kind of morality that the White House practices. But the White House doesn’t have the final say – particularly one in such a disadvantaged position. Today, deeply entangled in domestic and foreign affairs difficulties, the Obama Administration can only do what Congress members allow it to do.
On the surface, it would appear that such a balance would be conducive to U.S. national interests. But in fact, because the government is so constrained and has such difficulty moving ahead, how does this fit into the long-term interests of the United States? Congressional bickering over the debt ceiling is illustrative. During these “passionate” debates by Congressional politicians, people watched as they advocated on behalf of their respective interest groups rather than the long-term interests of the people – let alone those of the rest of the world. As was stated in an editorial from Britain’s Financial Times, “this is an astonishing, deplorable and unacceptable way for the U.S. to conduct its affairs.”
Doesn’t the United States always find fault with the human rights and political systems of developing countries? Instead of being so concerned with promoting political reform in other nations, why doesn’t the U.S. follow its own advice, take its medicine to help itself? That would perhaps do the most to help strengthen America’s “soft power.”
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