By Zhong Sheng, People's Daily
As the world's most powerful country, the United States has long been pursuing, maintaining and abusing hegemony under the guise of promoting "democracy," "freedom," "human rights" and upholding a "rule-based international order."
Clinging to the Cold-War mentality, the country has ramped up bloc politics, provoked conflict and confrontation, arbitrarily imposed unilateral sanctions, grossly interfered in other countries' internal affairs, advanced in infiltration and subversion and willfully waged wars.
The notorious record of the U.S. in the political, military, economic, financial, technological and cultural fields, seriously threatens world peace and stability, and the well-being of all peoples.
Recently, the indifference of U.S. hegemony was once again exposed as Syrian people, who have been severely impacted by deadly earthquakes, failed to receive timely assistance due to U.S. sanctions.
To maintain its hegemony, the U.S. has long been attempting to mold other countries with its own values and political system.
In the name of "promoting democracy," it has pushed for the "Neo-Monroe Doctrine" in Latin America, instigated "color revolutions" in Eurasia, and orchestrated the "Arab Spring" in West Asia and North Africa, bringing chaos and disaster to many countries.
Over the recent years, it fabricated a false narrative of "democracy versus authoritarianism," assembled a so-called "value alliance," and formed exclusive clubs. Such hegemonic practices have created division in regions, stoked confrontation and undermined peace.
The high military spending for long and wanton use of force have indicated the U.S. military hegemony.
The U.S. has about 800 overseas military bases, with 173,000 troops deployed in 159 countries. According to a Tufts University report, the U.S. undertook nearly 400 military interventions globally between 1776 and 2019.
The U.S. military hegemony has led to humanitarian tragedies around the world.
The wars and military operations launched by the country in the name of fighting terrorism have claimed over 900,000 lives. The U.S. has created 37 million refugees around the world. More than 10 million Afghans were displaced. It has also left Libya in incessant civil unrest.
Looting and exploitation with its economic hegemony is a customary trick of the U.S.
By taking advantage of the dollar's status as the major international reserve currency, it is basically collecting "seigniorage" from around the world. It costs only about 17 cents to produce a 100-dollar bill, but other countries had to pony up 100 dollars of actual goods in order to obtain one.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. abused its global financial hegemony and injected trillions of dollars into the global market, leaving other countries, especially emerging economies, to pay the price.
With its control over international economic and financial organizations, the U.S. imposes additional conditions to their assistance to other countries. In order to reduce obstacles to U.S. capital inflow and speculation, the recipient countries are required to make their economic policies fall in line with America's strategy.
The United States also suppresses its opponents with economic coercion, doubling down on unilateral sanctions and "long-arm jurisdiction."
So far, the U.S. had or has imposed economic sanctions on nearly 40 countries across the world, affecting nearly half of the world's population. Its economic and financial hegemony has completely become a geopolitical weapon.
The U.S. seeks to deter other countries' scientific, technological and economic development by wielding monopoly power, suppression measures and technology restrictions in high-tech fields.
It monopolizes intellectual property in the name of protection. Overstretching the concept of national security, the U.S. mobilized state power to suppress and sanction enterprises of other countries. It weaponizes technological issues and uses them as ideological tools.
The U.S. has put "democracy" and "human rights" labels on high-technology, so as to fabricate excuses for its technological blockade against other countries. Besides, it also abuses its technological hegemony by carrying out cyber attacks and eavesdropping.
The U.S. worships hegemonic, domineering and bullying practices, and has long left behind fair competition and win-win cooperation.
Just as French entrepreneur Marc Lassus said in his book The Chip Trap, the U.S. values of the so-called "free market" and "full competition" are pure hypocrisy.
The U.S. has often used cultural tools to strengthen and maintain its hegemony in the world. William Blum, an American expert on U.S. foreign policy, once described ideology as a major force fueling the U.S. ambitions to rule the world.
American values and lifestyle are a tied product to its movies and TV shows, publications, media content, and programs. The country thus shapes a cultural and public opinion space in which American culture reigns and maintains cultural hegemony.
It also pours staggering amounts of public funds into radio and TV networks to support their ideological infiltration. U.S.-dominated Western media has a particularly important role in shaping global public opinion.
The U.S. uses misinformation as a spear to attack other countries, and has built an industrial chain around it: there are groups and individuals making up stories, and peddling them worldwide to mislead public opinion with the support of nearly limitless financial resources.
While a just cause wins its champion wide support, an unjust one condemns its pursuer to be an outcast. The hegemonic, domineering, and bullying practices of using strength to intimidate the weak, taking from others by force and subterfuge, and playing zero-sum games are exerting grave harm. Such practices have drawn growing, intense criticism and opposition from the international community.
The country must critically examine what it has done, let go of its arrogance and prejudice, and quit its hegemonic, domineering and bullying practices.
(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People's Daily to express its views on foreign policy and international affairs.)