As the media talks about the first anniversary of the Ukraine war, one of the most significant international relations incidents, maybe ever, has been completely ignored. China’s government website posted a 4,000-word treatise titled “U.S. Hegemony and its Perils” in English.
The treatise lays out claims that the U.S. frequently violates several international laws, illegally interferes in multiple country’s internal affairs, implies the U.S. was guilty of chemical weapon war crimes, and that the U.S. is guilty of abusing its political, military, economic, financial, technological, and cultural hegemony. Essentially, China argued that the U.S. is the most significant threat to everyone. Here is the last sentence of the treatise’s introduction:
“This report, by presenting the relevant facts, seeks to expose the U.S. abuse of hegemony in the political, military, economic, financial, technological, and cultural fields and to draw greater international attention to the perils of the U.S. practices to world peace and stability and the well-being of all peoples.”
China's strategy is to reopen some wounds of American allies and pour salt on them. The treatise is divided into seven sections, including an introduction, a conclusion, and five chapters about political, military, economic, technological, and cultural hegemonies. Each section outlines specific U.S. actions against other countries, both allies and foes. For example, the technological hegemony section discusses many things, including how the U.S. abuses surveillance technologies and was caught spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and several French presidents.
“U.S. surveillance is indiscriminate. All can be targets of its surveillance, be they rivals or allies, even leaders of allied countries such as former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and several French Presidents. [sic] Cyber surveillance and attacks launched by the United States such as "Prism," "Dirtbox," "Irritant Horn" and "Telescreen Operation" are all proof that the United States is closely monitoring its allies and partners. Such eavesdropping on allies and partners has already caused worldwide outrage. Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, a website that has exposed U.S. surveillance programs, said that "do not expect a global surveillance superpower to act with honor or respect. There is only one rule: there are no rules."
Another example in the technology hegemony section involves Japan.
“In the 1980s, to contain the development of Japan's semiconductor industry, the United States launched the "301" investigation, built bargaining power in bilateral negotiations through multilateral agreements, threatened to label Japan as conducting unfair trade, and imposed retaliatory tariffs, forcing Japan to sign the U.S.-Japan Semiconductor Agreement. As a result, Japanese semiconductor enterprises were almost completely driven out [sic]of global competition, and their market share dropped from 50 percent to 10 percent. Meanwhile, with the support of the U.S. government, a large number of U.S. semiconductor enterprises took the opportunity and grabbed larger market share.”
The accusations against the U.S. are extensive and sometimes very detailed. It recommended that everyone who wants to know all the allegations and how our enemies view us should take the time to read the entire treatise here. However, two paragraphs in the economic hegemony section seem designed to infuriate the world.
The United States exploits the world's wealth with the help of "seigniorage." It costs only about 17 cents to produce a 100 dollar bill, but other countries had to pony up 100 dollar of actual goods in order to obtain one. It was pointed out more than half a century ago, that the United States enjoyed exorbitant privilege and deficit without tears created by its Dollar, and used the worthless paper note to plunder the resources and factories of other nations.
The hegemony of U.S. 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, leaving other countries, especially emerging economies, to pay the price. In 2022, the Fed ended its ultra-easy monetary policy and turned to aggressive interest rate hike, causing turmoil in the international financial market and substantial depreciation of other currencies such as the Euro, many of which dropped to a 20-year low. As a result, a large number of developing countries were challenged by high inflation, currency depreciation and capital outflows. This was exactly what Nixon's secretary of the treasury John Connally once remarked, with self-satisfaction yet sharp precision, that "the dollar is our currency, but it is your problem." [sic]
China posting the treatise is a dangerous escalation of language following several tense U.S./China exchanges over the last few weeks. China published the treatise following the U.S. threatening sanctions against China, Chinese companies, and Chinese business people if China were to offer military support to Russia in Ukraine. China subscribes to Sun Tzu’s philosophy called The Art of War. To summarize the book, war is about long-game deception. The fact that the treatise was well researched, written in grammatically correct English, and posted on the official government website immediately following the threat of sanctions implies China planned carefully for the moment when U.S. and Chinese interests diverged.
Strangely enough, China’s treatise makes sense as a response to sanctions in a tit-for-tat way. Sanctions isolate a country from international trade and participate in global economics. China wrote in a tone designed to make the world angry at the U.S., i.e., isolate them as sanctions would isolate China. The point is for the world to question whether it is still worth abiding by U.S. rules. The introduction makes the intention very clear.
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 United States has developed a hegemonic playbook to stage "color revolutions," instigate regional disputes and even directly launch wars under the guise of promoting democracy, freedom, and human rights. Clinging to the Cold War mentality, the United States has ramped up bloc politics and stoked conflict and confrontation. It has overstretched the concept of national security, abused export controls, and forced unilateral sanctions upon others. It 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."
China wanted to draw attention to the moment in time when the U.S. became the rule maker, the Bretton Woods agreement at the end of WWII. At Bretton Woods, the U.S. Dollar became the primary reserve currency. China showed its deep hatred for the U.S. and presented the world with the BRICS argument against the U.S. The undercurrent of China's argument is that the way to overthrow the U.S. hegemony is that the world should reject the source of its power, the U.S. Dollar.
The U.S. Ambassador, Nicholas Burns, dismissed China’s treatise as propaganda, which probably is. However, it doesn't matter if it is propaganda or not. Perceived U.S. wrongdoings against countries in North America, Central America, South America, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and Asia were all mentioned in China's treatise. The U.S. needs to check on every relationship and strategic economic and security alliance possibly broken by the treatise’s “propaganda.” (The good news is that the U.S. has yet to offend the penguins in Antarctica enough for China to try to turn them.)
Countries use propaganda because it works. Propaganda is designed to be persuasive and lead to action. Like most persuasive writing, China started with a pain point, the U.S., and then presented its solution, abandoning the Dollar. China is trying to provoke a global “Declaration of Independence” from the U.S., which would devastate every Dollar denominated asset. China asking the world to reconsider the Dollar’s hegemony made the best possible argument for precious metals.
Why haven’t you called the U.S. Gold Bureau yet?