US Hegemony and Its Perils

US hegemony

Since becoming the world’s most powerful country after the two world wars and the Cold War, the United States has acted more boldly to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, pursue, maintain and abuse hegemony, advance subversion and infiltration, and willfully wage wars, bringing harm to the international community. The US has also instigated “color revolutions” in Eurasia and orchestrated the “Arab Spring” in West Asia and North Africa, which caused chaos and disaster in many countries.

According to a report published by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the US exercises double standards on international rules, walking away from international treaties and organizations and putting its domestic law above international law. The US has also been accused of being a stumbling block to biological arms control and has become the biggest obstacle to realizing “a world free of chemical weapons.”

The US is piecing together small blocs through its alliance system, forcing regional countries to take sides, stoking confrontation and undermining peace. The US also passes judgment on democracy in other countries and fabricates a false narrative of “democracy versus authoritarianism” to incite estrangement, division, rivalry, and confrontation.

Political Hegemony — Throwing Its Weight Around

In January 2023, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo released his new book “Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love”. He revealed that the US had plotted to intervene in Venezuela, force the Maduro government to reach an agreement with the opposition, deprive Venezuela of its ability to sell oil and gold for foreign exchange, exert high pressure on its economy, and influence the 2018 presidential election.

The United States has become the world’s most powerful country since the two world wars and the Cold War, and it has acted more boldly to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, pursue, maintain and abuse hegemony, advance subversion and infiltration, and willfully wage wars.

By presenting relevant facts, this report seeks to expose the US’s abuse of hegemony in the political, military, economic, financial, technological, and cultural fields and draw greater international attention to the perils of the US practices to world peace and stability and the well-being of all peoples. The US has taken a selective approach to international law and rules, utilizing or discarding them as it sees fit, and has sought to impose rules that serve its own interests in the name of upholding a “rules-based international order.”

In December 2021, the US hosted the first “Summit for Democracy,” which drew criticism and opposition from many countries for making a mockery of the spirit of democracy and dividing the world. In March 2023, the US will host another “Summit for Democracy,” which remains unwelcome and will again find no support.

Military Hegemony — Wanton Use of Force

The history of the United States is marked by a constant drive for expansion through force. Since gaining independence in 1776, the US has slaughtered indigenous people, invaded Canada, waged war against Mexico, instigated the American-Spanish War, and annexed Hawaii.

In the post-World War II era, the US has continued to pursue its expansionist objectives through wars it has either provoked or launched. These include the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the Kosovo War, the War in Afghanistan, the Iraq War, the Libyan War, and the Syrian War. The US has the highest military budget in the world, accounting for 40% of the global total, with about 800 overseas military bases and 173,000 troops deployed in 159 countries.

The US has fought or been militarily involved with almost every country recognized by the UN, with only three exceptions. The country has overthrown democratically elected governments and replaced them with pro-American regimes. The US military hegemony has led to humanitarian tragedies, with its wars and military operations claiming over 900,000 lives, injuring millions, and displacing tens of millions. The Iraq War alone resulted in 200,000 to 250,000 civilian deaths and created over a million homeless.

The US has also caused massive displacement, with 37 million refugees created worldwide, including 10 million in Afghanistan. Its wars have devastated countries and destroyed their foundations of economic development. The US has used appalling methods of war, including chemical and biological weapons, cluster bombs, fuel-air bombs, graphite bombs, and depleted uranium bombs, resulting in civilian casualties and lasting environmental pollution.

The US has a history of using force to pursue its expansionist objectives, causing numerous humanitarian tragedies and devastation in many countries. Its military interventions have resulted in countless civilian casualties, massive displacement, and lasting environmental pollution.

Economic Hegemony — Looting and Exploitation

The United States established institutional and financial hegemony after World War II by setting up the Bretton Woods System, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank. The US dollar became the major international reserve currency, which allowed the United States to collect “seigniorage” from around the world and manipulate the rules and arrangements of international organizations to coerce other countries into serving its political and economic strategy.

The US exploits its global financial hegemony by injecting trillions of dollars into the global market, leaving emerging economies to pay the price. The US also imposes additional conditions on recipient countries to reduce obstacles to US capital inflow and speculation, and to fall in line with America’s strategy.

The United States leverages its hegemonic financial power to suppress opponents with economic coercion, such as the Plaza Accord, which dealt a heavy blow to the Japanese economy. America’s economic and financial hegemony has become a geopolitical weapon, and it has enacted a series of executive orders and laws to sanction specific countries, organizations, or individuals.

The US dollar is the main source of instability and uncertainty in the world economy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States abused its global financial hegemony and injected trillions of dollars into the global market, causing turmoil in the international financial market and substantial depreciation of other currencies. As a result, a large number of developing countries were challenged by high inflation, currency depreciation, and capital outflows.

The United States’ economic and financial hegemony has become a serious departure from the principles of the liberal market economy that it has long boasted.

Technological Hegemony — Monopoly and Suppression

The United States is accused of seeking to suppress the scientific, technological, and economic development of other countries by using monopolies, technology restrictions, and suppression measures. The US is said to monopolize intellectual property in the name of protection and take advantage of weaker countries’ weak positions on intellectual property rights, reaping excessive profits through monopoly. 

The US has also politicized and weaponized technological issues and used them as ideological tools, mobilizing state power to suppress and sanction companies such as the Chinese firm Huawei. The US has fabricated excuses to clamp down on Chinese high-tech companies and put over 1,000 Chinese enterprises on sanction lists. 

Additionally, the US has practised double standards in its policy on China-related technological professionals, while the US also solidifies its technological monopoly in the name of protecting democracy. By building small blocs on technology, such as the “chips alliance” and “clean network,” the US has turned technological issues into political and ideological issues, thereby fabricating excuses for its technological blockade against other countries. 

Finally, the US is also accused of abusing its technological hegemony by carrying out cyber attacks and eavesdropping. The US has a reputation as an “empire of hackers” and is blamed for its rampant cyber theft around the world, using all kinds of means to enforce pervasive cyber attacks and surveillance, including using analogue base station signals, manipulating mobile apps, infiltrating cloud servers, and stealing through undersea cables. The US’s surveillance is indiscriminate, and cyber surveillance and attacks launched by the US are said to be proof that the US is closely monitoring its allies and partners, causing worldwide outrage.

Cultural Hegemony — Spreading False Narratives

The United States has a strategy to expand its culture globally, using tools such as movies, TV shows, publications, media content, and government-funded non-profit cultural institutions. American values and lifestyle are tied to these products, shaping a cultural and public opinion space where American culture reigns and maintains cultural hegemony. Hollywood movies, in particular, are used to appeal to various ethnicities, occupying over 70% of the world market share.

American cultural hegemony is also maintained through media infiltration and as a “trumpet for the world.” The US government censors social media companies and demands their obedience, and public opinion in the US is subject to government intervention to restrict unfavourable remarks. The US Department of Defense also manipulates social media to amplify certain messages.

The US practices double standards on freedom of the press, suppressing and silencing media of other countries by various means. Mainstream Russian media such as Russia Today and Sputnik are barred from the US and Europe, and platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube restrict official accounts of Russia. Unprecedented draconian censorship is imposed on Russia-related content.

The US abuses its cultural hegemony to instigate “peaceful evolution” in socialist countries, setting up news media and cultural outfits to target them. The US pours staggering amounts of public funds into radio and TV networks to support their ideological infiltration, bombarding socialist countries in dozens of languages with inflammatory propaganda day and night.

The US also uses misinformation to attack other countries, with groups and individuals making up stories and peddling them worldwide with 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. The historical trends of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit are unstoppable. The United States has been overriding truth with its power and trampling justice to serve self-interest. These unilateral, egoistic and regressive hegemonic practices have drawn growing, intense criticism and opposition from the international community.

Countries need to respect each other and treat each other as equals. Big countries should behave in a manner befitting their status and take the lead in pursuing a new model of state-to-state relations featuring dialogue and partnership, not confrontation or alliance. China opposes all forms of hegemonism and power politics and rejects interference in other countries’ internal affairs. The United States must conduct serious soul-searching. It must critically examine what it has done, let go of its arrogance and prejudice, and quit its hegemonic, domineering and bullying practices.

US hegemony in global political economy