Written by: Mr. Khalid Taimur Akram
Executive Director of Pakistan Research Center for a Community with Shared Future (PRCCSF), Islamabad.
The recent national security strategy released in October 2022 by the Biden government presents a classic example of a false façade. By analyzing the policy document, one thing gets clear it is driven solely by an elite-capitalist ideology. The U.S. has made a fierce narrative as a part of the national security strategy to counter China’s global outreach. The stance manifests that the Chinese leadership has become a competition for the U.S. Accusing China’s socialist democracy as authoritarian governance is a complete rivalry. Undoubtedly, the American strategic vision has layered its own authoritarian governance with a pessimistic foreign policy. It is the outrageous behavior that poses a challenge to international peace and stability, especially waging or preparing for wars of aggression, actively undermining the democratic political processes of other countries, leveraging technology and supply chains for coercion and repression, and exporting an illiberal model of international order.
One should not forget the history of American interference and aggression in other countries. The world has witnessed its misadventure in Afghanistan and flawed policies for maintaining so-called ‘’democratic values’’. Racial discrimination, Islamophobia, biasness, prejudices, and wars have been rooted from western countries. Now, the policy fiasco has grown to the extent that it shows the entrenched ambiguity in the American political system. Countries have lost all trust in the U.S. leadership. Unfortunately, the U.S. has not paid any heed to the pressing global issues and only indulged in igniting conflicts among states rather than cooperation and joint development.
Dysfunctional National Security Strategy:
The United States pessimistic approach imposes an immediate threat to the free and open international system while recklessly flouting the basic laws of the international order. For instance, America has been weaponizing Taiwan to counter China is yet another move for creating global conflict. It has been explicitly indulged in waging wars, intruding sovereignty of other states, and halting the peace process. The recent news of the American arms sale to Taiwan of $1.1 billion is part of its anti-Chinese propaganda and belligerence. The Chinese leadership has been clear on its stance regarding Taiwan being a part of China. However, the U.S. administration has been continuously defying the sovereignty of the states, which has impacted China-U.S. relations vis-à-vis changing global security discourse.
Their pursuit of the American vision is complicated by several factors. Its assertive behavior has caused other countries to push back and defend their sovereignty for their own legitimate reasons. As a result, other states have shown their trust in the Chinese leadership and allied with China to work to build a community with shared future for common progress and development in various fields. In this aspect, the proactive role of President Xi Jinping is worth-praising. Due to his robust policies and economic development projects, many states have upgraded their socio-economic structures.
Some parts of the world are uneasy with the competitive nature and policies of the United States. These concerns must be resolved to avoid a competition that escalates into a world of rigid blocs. China does not seek conflict or war. Rather, it has been enhancing efforts to support every country, regardless of size or strength, in exercising the freedom to make choices that serve their interests. This is a clear difference between China and the United States.
Furthermore, Nuclear deterrence remains a top priority for the U.S., as mentioned in the policy document. The country has invested heavily in new nuclear weapons that will potentially increase rivalry and adversities. On the other hand, different regions and countries have developed a consensus that war is not a solution to any problem. Thus, military expansion and arms race from NATO/U.S. must be restrained. In this aspect, all states must join hands to strengthen global security architecture. There should be the restoration of the system under international agreements under the auspice of international law. This will pave the way for states to cooperate at a wider level. It is noteworthy to mention that China has been trying to establish confidence building measures (CBM) and devise policies that can be produced to ensure strategic stability. In this regard, seeking fairness and justice while keeping shared values are significant aspects of assembling peace, stability, and sustainable development. This will provide an impetus to democracy and human rights.
In a nutshell, I believe that American national security policy has been developed to target China and ignite anti-Chinese sentiments. However, this narrative will not impact Chinese global rise and outreach as the world is aware of the changing socioeconomic and political dimensions in international relations. Such maneuvers will only impose questions on American legitimacy and conduct of statecraft. The Biden administration must shed the orthodox notion of confrontational and the White House must work with China to eradicate differences and pursue common goals through peaceful means.