OPINIONS Op-ed: US unilateralism will bring risk


Op-ed: US unilateralism will bring risk

By Zhong Sheng | People's Daily online

10:57, October 31, 2018


The US has drawn wide criticism from the international community after its President Donald Trump announced on Oct. 20 that Washington would pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty).

Relevant parties, including the NATO allies of the US, believe that Washington’s choice of withdrawing from the INF Treaty would put the whole world in an arms control crisis and bring negative impacts to global strategic stability.

This could be the most risky move Trump administration has ever taken, and it would influence the “survival”, the Reuters commented.

The INF Treaty is an important pact for arms control and disarmament signed between the Soviet Union and the US in the 1980s. It has played an important role in alleviating international relations, pushing forward nuclear disarmament process, and promoting global strategic balance and stability. The treaty is of realistic significance for global strategic stability even today.

As a traditional ally of the US, Germany declared first that the US administration’s move posed a hard challenge for itself and Europe.

The European External Action Service (EEAS) noted in a statement that the INF Treaty constituted a pillar of European security architecture. The EEAS expected the US to consider the consequences of its possible withdrawal from the INF on its own security, on the security of its allies and of the whole world.

Before the INF Treaty was signed, the US was opposed for deploying the Pershing II missile in Europe, because the latter didn’t want to be involved in the arms race between major countries. Today, it still hopes so in voicing against the US withdrawal.

Washington’s increasingly risky mindset on nuclear weapons and arms control has become more obvious to the international community. In the beginning of this year, it released the latest Nuclear Posture Review, which focused on geopolitics and competition between major countries, stressed the role of nuclear weapons in security policies, and disregarded its own special and prioritized responsibility for nuclear disarmament.

The report also proposed to develop low-yield weapons, and lower nuclear threshold. “The new policies only increase the chances of blundering into a nuclear war,” said Bruce Blair, a Princeton University nuclear scholar.

The decision of withdrawal from the INF has reflected that multilateralism is on the rise in the US government. For a time, it has become a routine diplomacy of the US to maximize its interests through blackmailing and pressuring other countries.

Some US analysts believe that the US announcing its withdrawal from the INF Treaty is a bluff on the eve of the midterm elections, as well as an approach to pressure other countries in major country relations.

The US was acting strong against Russia by ditching the INF, which was politically useful, the Bloomberg wrote, adding that it went with Washington’s attempt to look for more leverage under the background of China-US trade frictions.

The US government has been stirring up troubles on major country relations. More and more American strategists are confused whether the US is ready for confrontations with other major powers, and does this situation go with its interests.

To answer these questions, Washington needs not only a strategic thinking, but also a clear understanding on the pattern of the time and future of the world. The US is suggested to think twice when addressing global issues, and the unilateral and risky mentality will lead the country to nowhere.

(Zhong Sheng, a homonym in Chinese for “voice of China”, is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy)

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