【Global Times】Biden opens democracy summit, ‘shows no confidence’

2021-12-10 10:33:26 ciwa

Source: Global Times | 2021-12-10

Original link:https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202112/1241151.shtml


The virtual "Summit for Democracy" held by the US kicked off on Thursday, but Chinese analysts said that Washington just exposed its shortage of confidence over its own political system since it dares not invite many countries, including China, to share their views about democracy, and this just proves that the US-dominated event is not democratic at all.

The "summit" is a useless show to cover the real problems of Western democracy, and has provided a platform for some anti-China forces to gain attention, such as representatives of Hong Kong separatists and the Taiwan secessionist authority, said experts, noting that this proves that the event serves US strategy to add new tensions with China.

US President Joe Biden said on Thursday in his opening remarks that "In the face of sustained and alarming challenges to democracy, universal human rights, and all around the world, democracy needs champions."

Analysts said this means Biden and his team realize their "democracy" is in crisis, but they have mistakenly claimed that the threat to their "democracy" is from outside, since Biden's speech stressed defending "democracy" from "authoritarianism."

Biden didn't name any country, which means he wants to be less provocative toward countries he didn't invite, said observers, stressing that the real challenge to Western democracy is not from outside, but within the Western political system, which requires deep and effective reform. But it seems the US has no courage to face the problem directly but prefers to shift the blame to its competitors by identifying them as "authoritarian states," observers said.

Participants with mixed views

The Biden administration also didn't invite many of its allies and key partners including Turkey, Singapore, Vietnam and Hungary. Some of those who received invitations, like Pakistan, were reluctant to participate in the event, as the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that it wants to engage with the US "at an opportune time in the future."

Many participants from Asia, Africa and Europe, as well as some international organizations also kept a low profile when participating in the event, with experts saying these participants are trying to stay away from the US stance as they don't want to be used by Washington to serve the US-launched propaganda warfare against China and Russia.  

The summit did invite some influential figures such as United Nations Secretary General António Guterres and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Analysts said the participation of these people doesn't mean they share all the opinions of the Biden administration toward China and Russia and the US definition on democracy.

"Biden held this summit because pro-establishment elites in the West believe the previous administration in the US led by Donald Trump caused huge damage to Western democracy and multilateralism, so they want to fix it, and they are worried about the return of Trumpism and the rise of far-right forces in their countries. Many key figures and leaders worldwide would love to attend the summit and express their opinion," Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Other participants from Third World countries like Africa might try to use the platform to urge the West to pay more attention to assist them more in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and for economic recovery, said analysts.

So it's unnecessary and inaccurate to identify all participants of the "summit" as aggressive Western politicians with a hostile stance against China or Russia, even if the US wants to make the event a show to trumpet US democracy and to groundlessly criticize its competitors, Lü said.

No confidence

It is a pity that the US did not give China a chance to show "a different model of democracy to the West," which has proven effective in practice and constantly improves the people's needs, Shen Dingli, a professor of Fudan University's Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times.

"China has always been a supporter of democracy, and it will cherish the chance, if it gets invited, to share its successful democratic experience with the world and learn from each other. But unfortunately, the narrow-minded actions of the US prevented it from seeing the progress of democratic China," he noted.

This proves that the US has no confidence to have an open debate with countries like China or Russia on democracy in front of the international community, and US elites have no courage to listen to different opinions from non-Western countries about democracy, because they want to keep their monopoly in defining the term "democracy," and to use it as a tool to lecture others and even to interfere in others' internal affairs.

The US is in no position to be "a champion of democracy" or to force other countries to adopt democratic institutions or policies according to its standards, said experts, adding that US foreign policy with the pretext of "democracy" has long been a poor record, said experts.

Makhdoom Babar, president and editor-in-chief of Pakistani media International Daily Mail, told the Global Times on Thursday that "It's time for the Americans and especially for the White House to realize that their governance system…is not the only viable governance system in the world."

"They should make themselves understand that the other governance systems" in countries like Saudia Arabia, Brunei, Oman, the UAE and China "are much better government systems when it comes to delivering for the welfare and the good of people," he said.

Democracy show window

Among over 100 participating countries and regions to the summit, only 77 of them are ranked as "free" or fully democratic, while 31 are "partly free" and three are "not free," according to Freedom House's Democracy Index.

The US uses its own criteria to define some countries as "democratic" while others as "autocratic," Sourabh Gupta, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Institute for China-America Studies, told the Global Times in a recent interview.

Dissidents or opposition members from countries the US considers ideological rivals, such as US-backed Venezuelan radical interim president Juan Guaido and Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, are also among the guests.

The summit held by the democratically dysfunctional US is essentially an anti-China farce, which includes a losers' alliance and self-hypnotized cultists with "democracy" slogans, said observers.

Taiwan's separatist leader Tsai Ing-wen sent her representatives Audrey Tang Feng, a member of Taiwan's executive authority, and Hsiao Bi-khim, the island of Taiwan's representative to the US, to the summit.

Tang, who is in charge of digital issues, will participate in a panel discussion on December 10 on the topic "Against digital authoritarianism and affirming democratic values." But ironically, Tang has long been known as the leader of Taiwan's notorious "internet water army." The program is sponsored by the separatist political party which has been criticized for manipulating local online public opinion, promoting separatism, and is committed to cyber bullying against the opposition.

Another archetypal clown is the Hong Kong separatist Nathan Law, a fugitive suspected of participating in riots and later fleeing Hong Kong. He is scheduled to give remarks on December 10.

In a Facebook post, Law expressed his appreciation for the invitation, which observers called as having his "tail wagging like one who has just received alms from a patron," and begging for more funding from his Western sponsors to pay for his life while he is at-large.

Hong Kong security chief Chris Tang Ping-keung branded Law a coward who is spreading political lies and not fit to represent Hong Kong, condemning Law's willingness to serve as a US vassal.

Meanwhile, shortly before the summit kicked off, the US House of Representatives passed a bill on the so-called forced labor issue to reinforce the US lie of the century – the "genocide" allegation against China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on which observers said all those moves reflected the true intention – Washington’s all-out efforts to suppress China.