Carlos Martinez: The Summit for Democracy won’t succeed in propping up US hegemony

Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez was recently interviewed by CGTN in relation to Biden’s upcoming Summit for Democracy, which is in reality an attempt to consolidate pro-imperialist forces globally against China and other socialist and progressive countries. A video segment of the interview is embedded below, followed by the text of the report, which is republished from CGTN.

These issues will be explored in detail at our Summit for Socialist Democracy, to be held on Saturday 11 December.

I think the international context is quite sensitive (and) quite fragile. The main reason behind this being the emerging “new cold war,” which is led by the United States and is directed primarily against China. It’s also directed against Russia, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela (and) the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Essentially, all those countries that you can say, they’re unwilling to accept the U.S. vision of international relations, the so-called liberal international order in which the U.S. enjoys more or less unchallenged hegemony. And U.S.-China relations have really deteriorated in recent years, particularly since 2018.

China’s policy has been and remains one of peaceful coexistence of accepting and understanding ideological differences, but not allowing these to develop into conflict, not allowing these to develop into something that will get in the way of mutually beneficial cooperation. It seems Washington has started to realize that the dreams that it had (and) that its politicians had about China were not realistic.

And what the U.S. hadn’t counted on is China emerging as a powerhouse of science and technology, sending rockets to Mars, innovating on 5G, innovating on artificial intelligence, innovating on renewable energy, and so on. The U.S. hadn’t counted on China upgrading its economy, becoming an advanced country, and it certainly hadn’t anticipated things like the Belt and Road Initiative. So China’s become a major power, and I think this has caused panic and confusion in the U.S.

And I think President Biden has inherited what is essentially a very difficult (and) a very complex situation. And the big question of his presidency is whether he is going to continue to escalate this “new cold war” or whether saner voices will prevail, and they can find a way to reduce tensions and to help rebuild a mutually beneficial U.S.-China relationship.

I think the summit is a dangerous game that the U.S. is playing. They are sort of drawing a line of division in the world and creating an “us against them” environment, just as they did with the Cold War against the Soviet Union. And drawing that line on the basis of democracy is actually quite arbitrary.

If you look at the list of countries (and regions) that are invited to the summit and the list of countries that aren’t invited to the summit, the difference isn’t about democracy. It’s about which countries go along with the U.S. geopolitical strategy and which don’t.

It kind of feels like Western politicians are using the words “democratic” and “authoritarian” as code words to mean, essentially, pro-imperialist and anti-imperialist. The dividing line being drawn here is about whether the 21st century is going to be characterized by U.S. domination, or whether it’s going to be characterized by the transition to a multipolar multilateral system based on the principles of international law (and) based on the UN Charter.

Dividing the world into opposing hostile camps is really the last thing humanity needs. We face a set of enormous global challenges – climate change, pandemics (and) the possibility of nuclear conflict. And these challenges absolutely require close cooperation between all the countries of the world and particularly the major powers. And in that sense, a “new cold war” constitutes a very real (and) a very serious threat.

This project isn’t going to be successful. Very few countries are going to go along with the “new cold war” because, ultimately, it’s not in their interests.

China’s already taken up the ideological challenge, which is this attempt by the U.S. to universalize Western capitalist democracy and to present it as the only truly democratic system. The Chinese leadership has been talking a lot recently about China’s whole-process people’s democracy, which through the system of people’s congresses, the system of consultative conferences, seeks to open up political power to the masses of the people.

And it seems to me that it’s quite clearly reflected in the actual priorities of the Chinese government. The big priorities for China are tackling poverty, tackling homelessness, ensuring that people are protected from the pandemic, dealing with pollution, developing renewable energy and a green economy, cracking down on corruption, improving the education and health care systems, and generally speaking, improving people’s lives.

And in that sense, I think people can see China’s government is much more responsive to the needs of its people than Western governments.

So I think it’s very much the right thing for China to talk about its own democratic model and to explain the nature of people’s democracy (and) to explain the nature of socialist democracy.

The other key thing China is doing that I think helps to counter the U.S. strategy is that it’s developing excellent relations with as many countries as possible.

So, China isn’t isolated, and it’s not going to become isolated as a result of this U.S. “new cold war” strategy. Washington would really be best advised to drop that strategy and to take the opportunity to rebuild a collaborative, friendly and mutually beneficial relationship with China.

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