By Zhong Sheng, People’s Daily
NATO recently convened an summit as the Ukraine crisis entered its second month. Promoting peace and talks for an early ceasefire should have been a priority for the U.S.-led alliance. However, the messages sent by the summit were disappointing.
As the initiator of the crisis, the U.S. did not introspect about its responsibilities or try to prevent the war from further escalating. On the contrary, it was passing the buck and claimed that it would provide massive weapons for Ukraine and impose further sanctions against Russia.
This is merely pouring oil on the flames. It will erect greater obstacles to resolving the crisis through political means and bring bigger consequences for world and regional peace and prosperity. What the U.S. has done bears little resemblance to the responsibilities that a major country should shoulder. It was purely motivated by the habitual practice of a hegemonic country to reach its hegemonic goals through making crises.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once said that to be an enemy of America can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal, which has been proven right repeatedly by the crises the country started and escalated around the world.
The following thread clearly illustrates the development of the Ukraine crisis – the U.S. made a cheap promise of NATO membership to Ukraine to trap the latter into confrontations with Russia, and then funded Ukraine hundreds of millions of dollars of military aid while shouting to be preserving peace. Such practice only exemplified the hypocrisy of the U.S.
The direction in which the Ukraine crisis developed is highly dependent on what the U.S. does. Former U.S. congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said that the war between Russia and Ukraine could have been avoided had the U.S. promised to not allow Ukraine to join the NATO.
However, this is not what the U.S. did. The U.S.-led military alliance expanded eastward five times, moving its strategic border to Russia’s gateway. This indicated that the U.S. has no intention of deescalating the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, but rather wishes to exacerbate it. The U.S. is taking Ukraine as a pawn on its geopolitical chess board, so as to contain Russia, suffocate Europe’s strategic independence, and shore up its collapsing hegemony in Europe.
For the European allies of the U.S., they are paying a tangible price for the war, such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict at their doorsteps, inflows of refugees, and energy shortage. However, the U.S. that boasts rich gas and petroleum resources and sits on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, is profiting handsomely from the upheaval. After the World War II, the U.S. has always purported to be a guardian of world peace, but as a matter of fact, it’s more of a guardian of its private interests as a country that worships “America first.”
Putting the blame on other countries to safeguard its own hegemony is a usual practice of the U.S. From the onset of the Ukraine crisis, the U.S. accused China of not preventing the war knowing it was inevitable, made nonsense that Russia requested military assistance from China, and hypocritically called on all countries including China to safeguard international order.
On the Ukraine issue, China speaks for justice and works for peace with a long-term vision. It is always playing a constructive role. It supports all efforts that are conducive to easing the situation and seeking political settlement and opposes any act that is counterproductive to reaching diplomatic resolution or even leads to escalation.
By smearing and defaming China, the U.S. just aims to pass the duck and contain China. The U.S. practices reflect that the country, driven by Cold War mentality, is acting like a hegemon, a bully and boss of the world. The U.S. should understand that to resolve the Ukraine crisis, talks and negotiations are necessary. Defining “rule-based international order” with unilateral standards and forcing other countries to pick a side will never work.
The U.S. never cares about the general interests of the world as it pursues its own hegemony. At present, countries around the world are already having a hard time coping with the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring economic development and livelihood. However, the U.S. is ignoring global stability and the work and life of billions of people around the world, arbitrarily imposing all-round and undifferentiated sanctions against Russia. It even claimed that if other countries do not cooperate with it on the sanctions, it may implement retaliatory measures.
Such an abuse of sanctions is a common practice of the U.S. Just in the past 20 years, the number of U.S. sanctions has increased tenfold. However, the world is not getting any better because of these sanctions.
A recent Newsweek article pointed out that sanctions on Russia would fail without diplomacy. The White House knows the point, too, but it is still imposing sanctions, not to ease the situation, but to economically contain Russia in the long run.
Both history and reality have proved that sanctions will not result in peace and security, but only lose-lose or no-win situations. They will only aggravate the sluggish world economy and further exacerbate separation and confrontation.
To create space for peace and political settlement should be an obligation of all responsible countries, especially the major ones. If the U.S. really wants to alleviate tensions in Ukraine, it should refrain from pouring oil on the flames, stop wielding the big stick of sanctions, stop slandering other countries, and stand with justice and peace.
(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy and international affairs.)
By Zhong Sheng, People’s Daily