Originally published by www.china.com.cn. Author: Dong Yifan. The version here was translated to English and published by China Military Online, June, 19, 2023. Editor: Li Weichao.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and US President Joe Biden issued the so-called Atlantic Declaration on June 8. The declaration involves US-UK cooperation in artificial intelligence, clean energy, and key minerals, as well as the consolidation of the US-UK security and defense alliance. However, the strengthening of bilateral cooperation is driven by ulterior motives. The Atlantic Declaration clearly proposed to deal with the so-called “China-Russia Declaration”, which turned this document into a “New Cold War Declaration” that incites group politics and camp confrontation and injects more destructive factors into the relationship between major countries and global security.
Obviously, both British and American leaders are trying to copy the Atlantic Charter signed by Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill in 1941. However, compared with the Atlantic Charter that promoted the international anti-fascist cause, the Atlantic Declaration is more like a declaration that creates division and turmoil under ideological prejudice and hegemonic thinking.
First, the US and the UK proclaim themselves to be the leaders of the world and the founders of the global order, and then list countries that differ from the Western system, such as China and Russia, as so-called “challenges to international stability” . This attitude of openly clamoring for confrontation is very different from the previous commitments made by the UK and the US to China. Biden pledged that the US does not seek a new Cold War, does not seek to change China’s system, and does not seek to revitalize alliances against China, but he has never stopped playing the game of group politics and touting the false narrative of “democracy versus autocracy”.
Sunak, who is known for his so-called “rational and pragmatic attitude towards China”, has also continued to hype up the so-called security issues and insinuated links with China. These duplicitous practices have made most countries in the world doubt the credibility and reliability of the UK and the US. Styling themselves world leaders and waving the banner of maintaining peace and security can no longer cover up their real intentions of creating divisions, confrontations, and conflicts to gain hegemony and self-interest.
Second, the US and the UK continue to create obstacles and chaos in the economic and technological fields. In the Atlantic Declaration, the US and the UK frequently used words such as “alliance” and “leadership”. In essence, they are continuing to piece up small groups and small camps formed by Western countries with them as the core to provoke economic confrontation and technological blockade and monopolize rules, markets, technology, and industrial relations to contain the development of other countries. The US first smears other countries, and then blatantly conducts bullying and hegemonic practices of decoupling and disruption of industrial and supply chains under the pretext of “de-risking” and “reducing dependence”. The above-mentioned actions of the US and the UK are constantly destroying and tearing apart the existing operating logic and interrelationships of economic globalization and global industrial chain cooperation, and pushing the world economy into a fragmented, unstable, and turbulent direction.
Third, the US and the UK resort to militarism in the name of security and endanger regional security. The AUKUS nuclear submarine cooperation among the US, the UK and Australia blatantly violates the international nuclear non-proliferation framework and creates the risk of spiraling arms race and nuclear proliferation in the Asia-Pacific region where peace and development are the mainstream. The Atlantic Declaration also distorts the truth and trumpets that the AUKUS cooperation, NATO’s military supply to Ukraine, and the Indo-Pacific regional military exercises are conducive to maintaining security. This reminds regional countries of the history of turmoil and war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, and other countries caused by the US.
All in all, the Atlantic Declaration is a new Cold War script of political division, economic isolation, and military confrontation. Such practices will only push the world into a more dangerous situation and inject more inestimable uncertainties into the relationship between major countries and the global structure. Therefore, most countries, including China, should remain highly vigilant, recognize the geopolitical risks hidden behind their words, and jointly take responsible actions to inject more positive energy into world peace, development, unity, and cooperation.
(The author is an assistant researcher at the Institute of European Studies, China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations).
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