The US-dominated International Order is collapsing

Mar 17, 2024
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History will prove that the Russo-Ukrainian war and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were catalysts for paradigmatic changes in the international landscape and the driving force behind the eventual demise of the US-led “liberal international order.”

During the Cold War period after World War II, two “international orders” emerged in the world, namely the “socialist international order” led by the Soviet Union and the so-called “liberal international order” led by the United States. After the end of the Cold War, the “liberal international order” was the only international order in the world. Since then, the United States has continued to use coercion, inducement, and regime change to bring more and more countries into this dominant international order, which has led to many conflicts between the United States and other countries, particularly China and Russia. However, in the past decade or so, the “liberal international order” has increasingly become unviable and unsustainable. The reasons include the fact that more and more countries believe it is an unfair, inequitable, and unreasonable international order catering primarily to the interests of the West and that the United States itself often violates and distorts the “rules of the game” devised by itself.

From a historical perspective, the Russo-Ukrainian war and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict are significant game-changing events that would bring about “tectonic changes” in the global political landscape that would, in turn, lead to the complete collapse of the “liberal international order” in different ways.

First, they verify that the United Nations, as the linchpin of the “liberal international order,” can no longer serve as an organisation for maintaining world peace and international order under the deliberate neglect, defiance, and disruption of the United States. The United Nations cannot act to avoid and end the Russo-Ukrainian war. Moreover, the United States blatantly vetoed most countries in the United Nations’ call for a ceasefire in Gaza. When the United Nations becomes an effete and ineffective international institution, the unilateral actions of the United States taken without the approval of the United Nations will increasingly lose the endorsement and goodwill of the international community, and the international order it leads will also lose legitimacy and support.

Second, in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the United States not only condoned but even provided military and diplomatic support to Israel’s near-genocide atrocities against the Palestinian civilians in Gaza, most deplorably women and children. Israel’s actions in Gaza seriously violate and make a mockery of the “liberal international order’s” proclaimed respect for human rights and freedoms and the prohibition and condemnation of genocide. The United States and its Western allies disregarded Israel’s atrocities, which is entirely contrary to their position of severely accusing and condemning Russia for committing “war crimes” in the Russo-Ukrainian war. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has unmistakably and fully exposed the moral hypocrisy and double standards of the United States and the West. It has triggered intense anger and frustration in the international community and brought about the complete moral bankruptcy of the Western camp led by the United States. In other words, the “liberal international order” no longer has powerful moral moorings. Consequently, the “liberal international order” will continue to shrink as more and more countries are reluctant to imbue it with legitimacy. The United States’ global leadership position will also be seriously jeopardised.

Third, the Russo-Ukraine war proved that the “liberal international order” led by the United States is dangerously “expansionary” and “coercive” in nature, thus posing a clear and serious threat to world peace. The United States demands all countries participating in the “liberal international order” adopt Western political and economic models and values. It does not accept or tolerate the existence of other political and economic models and values. The eastward expansion of NATO promoted by the United States can be understood as a strategic plan to further expand the “liberal international order” in Europe to contain Russia and ultimately change its political and economic system in the Western direction. In a sense, the essence of the Russo-Ukrainian war can thus be understood as a “defensive” maneuver by Russia to safeguard the country’s sovereignty, security, and strategic autonomy. Since the continuous and reckless expansion of the “liberal international order” has triggered the Russo-Ukrainian war, and the scale of the Russo-Ukrainian war is likely to expand and pose a graver threat to world peace and development, other countries in the world will be increasingly dismissive of the “liberal international order.” A lot of countries are already deeply apprehensive about a devastating global war triggered by the United States’ dogged efforts at containment of China to make it a qualified member of the “liberal international order.” Global resistance to it is bound to grow day by day. Now, the United States is on the verge of failure in the Russia-Ukraine war, which is commonly seen as a “proxy war” between the United States and Russia. This will encourage and embolden more countries to resist the “liberal international order” in various ways in the days to come.

History will prove that the Russo-Ukrainian war and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were catalysts for paradigmatic changes in the international landscape and the driving force behind the eventual demise of the US-led “liberal international order.” The Russo-Ukraine war and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have already proven that the US-led international order cannot bring peace, development, fairness, and justice to the world; instead, it is becoming increasingly an impetus for instability and even war. The balance of power in the world is shifting irreversibly away from the West with the unstoppable demise of the “liberal international order.” Admittedly, the “liberal international order” may still exist in some form, but its prominent members will be mainly confined to the United States and some of its Western allies. Inevitably, with the gradual demise of the “liberal international order,” the world will experience a period of “international disorder” and the ensuing instability and uncertainty. However, in the past period, many non-Western countries, especially China, have begun to actively and urgently explore alternatives to the “liberal international order.” The Russo-Ukrainian war and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will undoubtedly accelerate the pace of work in this area, eventually promoting the birth of a new, fairer, equitable, and reasonable international order that is conducive to world peace and development and respects the interests and needs of all countries.

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