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American “sanctions”: a “cancer” of symbiosis with hegemony

American "sanctions": a "cancer" of symbiosis with hegemony

The Capitol was photographed in Washington, D.C., on November 19. ( Photo by Shen Ting, Xinhua News Agency)

Recently, during the so-called “Democratic Summit”, the United States imposed sanctions on some individuals and entities in China, Russia, North Korea, Myanmar, Bangladesh and other countries on the grounds of “human rights violations”.

Over the years, in order to safeguard its hegemony, the United States has repeatedly used sanctions to suppress other countries in the name of “democracy” and “human rights” and relying on its dominance, seriously violating international law and the basic norms of international relations, and also bringing serious poison to global economic security.

“If policymakers and legislators in Washington are always inclined to use some kind of tools, it is the economic baton commonly known as sanctions… Washington is already addicted to sanctions, just like a 5-year-old child is addicted to candy.” The articles published on the website of Newsweek in the United States are straightforward.

cover the sky with one hand.

For a long time, the United States has abused its financial hegemony and technological advantages, under the guise of “democracy”, “human rights” and “national security”, taking its domestic laws above international law. It not only wantonly sanctions countries that it regards as enemies or opponents, but also imposes illegal “long arms tubes” on third parties who have dealing with these countries. JURISDICTION”, EVEN ALLIES WILL NOT BE LET GO.

During the Cold War, the United States issued the Arms Export Control Act, the Export Administration Regulations and other regulations to prevent allies from exporting relevant products to socialist camp countries. After the end of the Cold War, the “sanctions” of the United States was constantly renovated, and a series of domestic laws such as the Damato Act of 1996, the Helms-Burton Act, and the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act of 2016, covering civil infringement, financial investment, antitrust, export control, cybersecurity, etc. In many fields, Venezuela, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Syria, etc. are on the “blacklist” of the United States.

For example, under the Anti-Overseas Corruption Act, as long as foreign companies have traded in US dollars, signed contracts in US dollars, and even sent emails only through email servers based in the United States, the U.S. government claims that it has “jurisdiction” over the company. If they do not obey U.S. law, these enterprises will be severely punished by the U.S. government, such as huge fines and sales bans.

According to data released by the U.S. Treasury Department, the number of sanctions imposed by the United States has increased tenfold in the past 20 years. In recent U.S. governments, sanctions have been frequently used. Obama imposed 2,350 sanctions during his second presidential term, and Trump imposed 3,800 sanctions during a presidential term, which is equivalent to swinging an average of three “sanction sticks” a day. As of October 1, 2021, the total number of sanctions in force in the United States has reached 9,421.

On January 10, 2020, then U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin (right) addressed a press conference held at the White House in Washington. On the same day, the U.S. Treasury announced new sanctions against Iran, including eight senior Iranian officials and mining companies. ( Photo by Liu Jie, reporter of Xinhua News Agency)

Ali Raidi, a researcher at the French Academy of International Relations and Strategy, pointed out in his book Secret Warfare that the United States exerts pressure on any country through “long-arm jurisdiction”, whether allies or enemies, is completely “covering the sky with one hand”.

bitter and beautiful for a long time

The so-called “democracy summit” convened by the U.S. government ended hastily with doubts from the international community. The fundamental purpose of democracy is to safeguard the interests of the people, and the U.S. government has carried out a lot of “the one who obeys us will perish and the other people perish” in international relations. It does not take into account the interests of the people of other countries, and arbitrarily destroys the economies of other countries and harms the lives of other countries by means of sanctions and bullying, seriously violates international law and the basic norms of international relations, and interferes and destroys the world economy. And the normal operation of the global industrial chain. Such a rebellious act is completely contrary to the true spirit of democracy. The so-called “freedom, democracy and human rights” boasted by the United States is a lie.

The United Nations World Food Programme recently warned that about 8.7 million of Afghanistan’s nearly 40 million people have reached “emergency” food problems, and another 14.1 million people are seriously insecure in food security. The Afghan Taliban has repeatedly urged the United States to ease sanctions against Afghanistan and unfreeze its assets. The Taliban pointed out that the U.S. sanctions not only seriously damaged the Afghan economy, but also seriously hindered the international humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

The world has been suffering and beautiful for a long time. According to statistics, from 2017 to the end of 2020, U.S. sanctions reduced Iran’s oil exports by more than 80%. Under U.S. sanctions, Venezuela’s oil exports fell to their lowest level in 77 years in 2020. The 60-year-old economic embargo imposed by the United States has caused direct economic losses to Cuba by more than 100 billion US dollars, seriously affecting the lives of the Cuban people. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States not only did not stop, but also increased sanctions against Iran, Syria and other countries, which made the epidemic prevention and economy worse in these countries.

On April 25, people held the Cuban flag to participate in the march in the central city of Santa Clara. Many places in Cuba held demonstrations on the same day, and the participating people demanded that the United States lift the embargo against Cuba for nearly 60 years. ( Xinhua News Agency, Photo by Joaquin Hernández)

During the 76th United Nations General Assembly in September this year, representatives of Iran, Cuba, Venezuela and other countries spoke bitterly criticizing the United States for its hegemony and neo-colonialism in international relations and wanton economic coercion against other countries. Previously, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the resolution “Necessity of ending the U.S. economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba” by an overwhelming majority for the 29th consecutive time in June, conveying the voice of the international community against American hegemony.

hegemonic tools

Although U.S. sanctions are often under the banner of “democracy, human rights” and so on, in essence, this means, like its external ideological export and war, are a tool for the United States to safeguard its hegemony and serve the interests of the American ruling class.

“American sanctions are addictive.” Sanctions against the United States’ abuse of economic coercion.” American media such as Diplomacy magazine are also increasingly aware of the nature of wanton sanctions by the United States. In fact, the increasing reliance of the United States on sanctions reflects the decline of its international influence and the serious anxiety caused by it.

Since the beginning of this year, the United States has repeatedly waved sanctions sticks. Recently, the United States has continuously threatened Russia with sanctions on Ukraine, threatening to cut off its financial lifeline; after the Afghan Taliban came to power, the U.S. government quickly froze nearly $9.5 billion in foreign exchange assets of the Central Bank of Afghanistan in the United States; and the “North Stream-2” gas pipeline project connecting Germany and Russia On issues, the United States is not soft on sanctions against European allies…

Live footage taken on July 15 showed US President Biden (right) and visiting then German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a joint press conference at the White House in Washington, D.C. ( Photo by Liu Jie, reporter of Xinhua News Agency)

There are countless cases of “coercive diplomacy” in the United States. France’s Echo said that “long-arm jurisdiction” has become a weapon in the U.S. economic war in recent years to weaken foreign competitors. Chandler Nyer, founder of the Global Future Institute, wrote that the United States has long pursued a “no obedience is opposition” strategy, and whoever does not obey may face hegemony.

At present, the unprecedented changes in the world in a century have accelerated, the international pattern has been deeply adjusted, emerging economies have risen in groups, and the strategic anxiety of the United States has deepened. In the eyes of many observers, obsession with sanctions is a manifestation of the decline of the United States.

Daniel Drezner, a professor at Tufts University and senior researcher at the Brookings Institution, recently wrote in Diplomacy magazine that 20 years of “war on terror”, economic recession, polarization, and the COVID-19 pandemic have weakened the strength of the United States. The frustrated presidents have fewer and fewer arrows in their hands, so the first thing they think of is the simple and usable tool – sanctions.

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