US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, second left, listens to Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party (not pictured), during a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on October 8, 2018. Photo: AFP
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listens to Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party (not pictured), during a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on October 8, 2018. Photo: AFP

In international-relations theory, countries can be divided into two groups: those driven
by realism and those driven by idealism.

The first group is very rare in the habitat of global politics, as it requires a country to be brutally honest about itself and its limits, and the world surrounding it, and forces its political elites and national media to be frank with their citizens about all of the mentioned points.

This clearly takes courage, as in the short term people may not appreciate the inconvenient truths. In the long run, however, it can save a country from subversion and socio-economic collapse.

On the other hand, the second group is a very common phenomenon in the modern world, as it is based on a conformist approach toward citizens who are kept in the dark, where only fragments of truth or blatant lies are provided to the people.

In the short term this may work well to prevent social unrest, but in the long run it can translate into a situation where citizens lash out in anger at the political elites during elections or, more radically, by initiating protests to oust discredited government officials.

Although some observers believe that the ongoing tensions between the US and China are just a power struggle, it is very naive to dismiss the fact that race plays a significant role in the former’s strategic approach toward the latter.

Also read: Now China asks: Who lost America?

“The idea is to knock out China as an economic rival, to ‘colonize’ China and make Chinese industry work for us. Racism and xenophobia is not the source of the problem – but a useful tool to demonize China,” Professor Alfred Maurice de Zayas, a former UN consultant, said during an interview this writer conducted for Asia Times in May.

Although it may sound controversial to some US apologists, it was reported in April last year that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s team had been preparing a strategy for China based on an idea rooted in racial differences between the two countries.

“This is a fight with a really different civilization and a different ideology, and the United States hasn’t had that before,” Kiron Skinner, the former director of policy planning at the State Department, said in 2019 at a security forum in Washington.

To prove the gravity of the current challenge, Skinner compared it to the old Cold War dilemma that, according to Francis Fukuyama, supposedly marked “the end of history” and unquestionable supremacy of the West under the US lead.

“The Soviet Union and that competition, in a way it was a fight within the Western family,” Skinner said, noting Karl Marx’ indebtedness to Western political ideas. “It’s the first time that we will have a great-power competitor that is not Caucasian.”

In fact, this approach should not come as a surprise, as the ongoing racial tensions in the US, started by the brutal killing of George Floyd by police officer Derek Chauvin, have exposed the true colors of the nation, which built its might on the back of slaves from Africa brought to a land formerly belonging to indigenous peoples who were now residing in reservations and had no real influence in the land taken from them.

The white supremacist identity, which gave birth to the so-called “New World,” appears to be the US modus operandi not only in its internal dealings with non-Caucasian inhabitants (including Asian-Americans), but also external conduct toward countries like the Middle Kingdom.

What is important for an accurate assessment of this dynamic is the recent speech given by Pompeo at the Richard Nixon Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California, titled “Communist China and the Free World’s Future.”

“We must admit a hard truth that should guide us in the years and decades to come, that if we want to have a free 21st century, and not the Chinese century of which Xi Jinping dreams, the old paradigm of blind engagement with China simply won’t get it done. We must not continue it and we must not return to it,” Pompeo said, laying down the new US policy toward China.

He added that “the challenge of China demands exertion, energy from democracies – those in Europe, those in Africa, those in South America, and especially those in the Indo-Pacific region.”

What this speech basically declares, according to The National Interest’s China expert Gordon Chang, is a clear intent to bring about regime change in Beijing.

The black civil-rights activist Malcolm X, referring to his home country during an Oxford Union Debate in 1964, said: “I have more respect for a man who lets me know where he stands, even if he’s wrong, than the one who comes up like an angel and is nothing but a devil.”

Failure to recognize this reality by China, or to think that the desire to destabilize the country is limited only to President Donald Trump’s administration, may be the beginning of the end of the only superpower that can prevent the US from turning rest of the world into one big reservation for the indigenous nations around the globe.

Adriel Kasonta is a London-based political risk consultant and lawyer. He is former chairman of the International Affairs Committee at the oldest conservative think tank in the UK, Bow Group. His work has been published in Forbes, CapX, National Review, the National Interest, The American Conservative, and, to name a few. Kasonta is a graduate of London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). You can follow him on Twitter @Adriel_Kasonta.