China attacked America as being divided as the world takes notice

16-Apr-2021 Intellasia | TheBill | 5:02 AM Print This Post

It wasn’t an attack with a hypersonic weapon or cyber warfare, but it was targeted at the very heart of the United States. The first high-level meeting between US and Chinese officials under the new Biden administration got underway in Alaska a few weeks ago, and America’s standing in the world took centre stage.

In his opening remarks, China’s top diplomat took aim at our country’s deeply divided politics and claimed America was, in effect, an unreliable world partner and a declining power. For the past few years, whispers and secondhand accounts indicated that China was saying this behind our back to other nations, but now this bubbled over into a direct confrontation on our soil.

Chief among the accusations is a troubling charge that the Chinese People’s Party should be preferable to American democracy. That is ridiculous, however, we do have some challenges. Given the tensions between China and Taiwan that have escalated in recent days and weeks as it relates to accidental conflict or possible military action, it is imperative that the world continues to recognise the United States as a symbol of freedom in an increasingly complex world.

The growing threat of domestic terrorism, exacerbated by the previous administration’s tepid response to a global pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than half a million Americans, lay bare the daunting challenges that face our system of government and our very way of life. China’s attempt to wield and leverage our divided politics against us on our own soil as well as sow doubt about our strength around the globe are among the many reasons leaders of both parties must make strengthening our representative democracy a top priority.

If the United States cannot build broad coalitions abroad, or if our ability to project power and advance our global agenda is deterred, that directly harms our national security. If nations like China are using cracks in our system diplomatically against us on the world stage, that harms our national security.

China’s charge that democracy is the problem and other countries should not trust us is unequivocally and flatly wrong. We have work to do on issues like racial injustice, creating 21st century jobs, and tackling climate change. Yet America remains the leading global power. Our economy is the strongest in the world. So is our technology savvy military and the higher education system ranks first. And our ongoing effort to form a more “perfect union” is one of the characteristics of our country that makes us so unique and exceptional.

We must do more to bring us closer to the promise of America. That’s why we should prioritise reforms to strengthen our democracy so that we can continue to be a beacon of freedom, human rights and peace abroad. Our current divisions run deep, on that there is no doubt. And when we are able to course correct and make the changes that will give our own people reason to trust and believe in the awesome power of American democracy, the world’s leaders will do the same.

The most important thing we can do right now is to restore civic education in our schools, protect our elections from insidious outside influences and hackers, and end anti-democratic practices like partisan redistricting. As the oldest continuous democracy in the world, we must set the example for free, safe, and secure elections in which civic participation is encouraged and public policy decisions are based on who has the best ideas, and not on which big donors gave the most money.

Last year’s election saw the highest turnout in over a century and was the most secure in our nation’s history. Now is the time to build on this success and ensure that our electoral process is made even more secure, safe and accessible. That means improving our election infrastructure and establishing best practices. It means healing our hyper-partisan politics and joining with other like-minded democracies abroad to forge coalitions of democracies working to resolve problems, whether that is vaccine distribution to poor countries, climate change cooperation, or technology supply chain reorganisation.

China’s foolishness to proclaim that America is not a trustworthy country goes to the heart of our values and ideals, and they may very well succeed in awakening a dozing and somewhat complacent nation at a critical time in our history. Russia certainly galvanised America with its Sputnik challenge in the 1950′s. China’s derision of democracy and asserting their self-perceived claim of dominance could propel Americans to their very best instincts and ideals. Winston Churchill’s words are a poignant reminder to us all: “The United States stands at the pinnacle of world power. This is a solemn moment for American democracy. For with primacy in power is joined an awe-inspiring accountability for the future.”


Category: China

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