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US should learn to live with the multipolar world

By Ahmad Nurcholis | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-09-18 13:47

Photo taken on Oct 28, 2021 shows the White House in Washington, DC, the United States. [Photo/Xinhua]

Today, global politics is likely to display more uncertainty. Apart from the Russia-Ukraine crisis, the sense of the next Cold War felt by international society will continue to serve a specter around the world unless the US' endless endeavors to contain China in the Asia-Pacific stops. The US' containment strategies are revealed in the form of AUKUS and QUAD, as well as the US' relentless seduction of some countries, especially of Southeast Asia, to provoke China on the South China Sea issue and Taiwan.

Desiring the aspirations and ideals of a harmonized world may end up in vain since global actors, notably the US, are unwilling to create conducive conditions. Without this, it seems impossible to make the peace of the world a reality until the US can live with the pluralistic world. Citing Mearsheimer, the US must concede the differences in the political system as the natural tendency of the universality of life as democracy taught us to tolerate divergence. Therefore, to get hold of harmony in global politics, the US has to take these bold actions:

Above all, the US must respect other countries' sovereignty. Without appreciating sovereignty, the state will lose its significance. To date and throughout history, the US has often annoyed and breached other countries' territory. Such actions were exemplified by its invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. If respecting other's sovereign integrity is not respected by the US, then any country at any time can be targeted by the US. Thus, the self-restraint of the US to not encroach on others' sovereignty is the pillar that could avoid wars. Otherwise, it leads to instability and uncertainty.

In addition, the US should become sober now, admitting that global politics now is fraught with emerging powers where the US mightiness alone is declining. Hence, the US should accept its new fate of regression with sincerity and let another actor have the chance to play the role and contribute to the multipolar world. Egoistic and arrogant attitudes should be discarded by the US. The global order must be maintained and navigated together. Since the desire to create a fair order is not only China's vision but also all nations'. Kanti Bajpai and Evan A Laksmana show in their paper "Asian conceptions of international order…" that "all Asians want a voice in the construction and maintenance of international order" including India, Indonesia and other Asian states.

It should be noted that after becoming comfortable with the new form of multipolarity, surely, the next step that the US should take is to discontinue its old-fashioned provocations, including its interventions in other countries. In the dynamic world, change is unavoidable. International society is not a stagnant state and is changing persistently. It is heading and moving forward and no one force can deny the phenomenon. The US' decline and others' rise is something that every state must be in agreement with. The obstinacy of the US in preserving its privilege to control and rule the world arbitrarily may lead the world increasingly shaky.

In conclusion, the idea of the pillar of peace is dependent on the acceptance of the US of its relative decline where the US must stop its provocation of other countries; the US must stop its proxy war to merely satisfy its ambition; the US must open up much more space to the role of the rising economies; and importantly, the US must accede to live with the multipolar world.

Ahmad Nurcholis is a Ph.D. candidate in international politics at Shandong University with an interest area of research in political economy, theories of international relations, and East and Southeast Asia studies. The views don't necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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