(SONG CHEN / CHINA DAILY)
Washington is due to host its second so-called Summit for Democracy on March 29-30, despite its first such gathering that it held last year being widely seen as a farce.
By doing so, it aims to split the world into "democracies and non-democracies" based on whether countries meet the standards of the US-style democracy or not.
Although as the report, The State of Democracy in the United States: 2022, the Chinese Foreign Ministry released on Monday, indicates, based on the US' own performance last year, meeting its standards should not be something countries take pride in.
The report says the vicious cycle of democratic pretensions, dysfunctional politics and a divided society continued to plague the US last year. Problems such as money politics, personality politics, social rifts, and the gulf between the rich and poor worsened. The maladies afflicting the US political system have deeply infected US society, and further revealed the failure of its governance and institutional defects.
But what makes these problems a real challenge to the country is Washington's unwillingness to address them. At the same time, it has never stopped putting on airs and graces, pointing fingers at others, adopting the role of a "lecturer on democracy", and concocting and hyping up the false notion of "democracy versus authoritarianism".
Be it the high-sounding rhetoric or the divisive summit, it is all part of the US' so-called value diplomacy, which is nothing more than a highfalutin misnomer for its attempts to maintain its hegemony by playing bloc politics and using democracy as a tool for political ends. The US doctrine of democracy is not the last word on democracy, although it would have the world believe otherwise.
Although democracy is a common value of humanity, there is no single political system that is applicable to all countries in the world. Worse, a black-and-white division of countries as "democratic" or "authoritarian" is both anachronistic and arbitrary. What the world really needs is a conference of solidarity that focuses on taking real actions to solve prominent global challenges.
Democracy is not the exclusive patent of the US. And the world does not need the political, military, and ideological barriers of a new Cold War.
As President Xi Jinping pointed out when he proposed the Global Civilization Initiative on Wednesday, the practice of stoking divisions and confrontations in the name of democracy is in itself a violation of the spirit of democracy.
The initiative calls on countries to keep an open mind when perceiving countries with different cultures and political systems and to refrain from imposing their own values or models on others or stoking ideological confrontations.
As Xi said, a single flower does not make spring, while one hundred flowers in full blossom bring spring to the garden. Rather than seeking to create divisions, countries should enhance their exchanges and interactions so as to tend the garden of the world so that it becomes more "colorful and vibrant".
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