U.S. cultural hegemony threatens global cultural security

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The People's Republic of China flag and the U.S. Stars and Stripes fly along Pennsylvania Avenue near the U.S. Capitol in Washington during Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit, January 18, 2011. Hu arrived in the United States on Tuesday for a state visit with U.S. President Barack Obama that is aimed at strengthening ties between the world's two biggest economies. REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

U.S. cultural hegemony threatens global cultural security

By Zhong Sheng

The White House recently designated another six Chinese media outlets in the U.S. as “foreign missions,” the latest move of the U.S. political oppression and stigmatization against Chinese media outlets and journalists.

It serves as another proof to the U.S. severe disruption of normal cultural exchanges and adoption of cultural hegemony based on Cold War mentality and ideological prejudices.

The U.S., on one hand is taking cultural export as a national strategy, and on the other hand is oppressing others in the cultural and ideological spheres, trying to transform other countries’ values. It exposed its nature of cultural hegemony and seriously threatens international cultural security.

Cultures shall be diversified, equal and inclusive. Civilizations have become richer and more colorful with exchanges and mutual learning. The long human history has already proved that exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations are an important power driving human progress and peaceful development of the world.

To enhance cultural and people-to-people exchanges is a common aspiration of all the people across the world and conforms to the common interests of all countries. However, some U.S. politicians are incredibly taking normal cultural and people-to-people exchanges as a thorn in the flesh. Cultural hegemony is flowing in their blood. Last year, they even blatantly announced to launch a civilization competition between China and the U.S., and build a frame of U.S.-China relations based on the clash of civilizations. Such practice received broad criticism and condemnation from the international society.

This year, the U.S. further intensified its efforts in this regard and escalated its political oppression against Chinese media outlets in the U.S. It forcefully interfered and even hindered the normal operation of China-U.S. cooperation programs including the Confucius Institutes, monitored, harassed and detained Chinese students and scholars in the U.S., and frequently launched unreasonable lawsuits. These practices have severely undermined the normal exchanges and cooperation between the two countries, which obviously went against mainstream public opinion, indicating that some U.S. politicians are standing on the opposite side of the Chinese and American people.

Containment and infiltration are conventional combination used by the U.S. to shape and dominate international orders with Western culture and values. Some U.S. politicians, stubbornly believing in American exceptionalism, hold that the U.S. must make its values and democratic system universal. They believe that’s the only way to maintain their national security.

Driven by cultural hegemony, the U.S. is massively selling its own ideology in the world and fanning up ideological confrontation. After the September 11 attacks, the White House launched the Greater Middle East Initiative, taking Iraq as a test field for American democracy. However, the initiative only brought infinite religious conflicts, ethnic confrontations and violence to Iraq. The U.S. also sent its troops to Afghanistan, and launched armed intervention in Libya and Syria, in the name of helping them building so-called democratic countries, but only opened one and another “Pandora’s boxes” followed by continuous disasters.

The U.S. export of so-called democracy and freedom has become a symbol for disorder, hunger, poverty and blood. Recently, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo even shamelessly acted as a spokesperson for democracy and freedom, but it is evident to all that these U.S. politicians are instigating ideological confrontation and promoting cultural hegemony to serve the interest groups behind them.

It is alarming that the U.S. cultural hegemony has threatened global cultural security. The White House has long taken educational and cultural exchanges as its fourth dimension of its diplomacy. It has cultivated non-governmental organizations and funds, trying to spread the seed of “American worship” to every corner of the world, and it’s no secret. The U.S. also exploited its advantages in internet publicity to control the flow of global information, taking internet as a channel for its cultural hegemony. Now, certain U.S. politicians, being aware of the definite failure of their attempt to alter China, turned their tactic to slandering China all over the world to provoke ideological confrontation and forced other countries to oppose China.

As a Chinese saying goes, There is enough space under sky for all lives and ways to live.. Cultural diversity does exist in human society, and mankind’s wisdom is further improved by mutual learning. Those who resort to cultural hegemony will finally be isolated.

(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy.)

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