The Joe Biden’s two-day democracy summit kick started on Thursday. Who is in and who is out has raised multiple questions and reservations among countries and civil society. The list includes liberal democracies, weaker democracies and several states with authoritarian characteristics. Twenty-seven countries are from western hemisphere, thirty-nine from Europe, two from Middle East and North Africa, seventeen from Africa, four from South & Central Asia and twenty-one from East Asia & Pacific.
The Blue Chip Media in Islamabad organized a webinar “Global democracy summit: a step towards democracy or supremacy?”. Prominent speakers from different walk of life expressed their views on the Biden led global summit on democracy.
In an answer to a question Dr Ishtiaq, Ex Vice Chancellor Sargodha University, said it is a very important subject to discuss. Whenever the democrats are in power they show the discourse towards democracy. Liberal democracy and electoral democracy is a tool to judge the countries. In the last eight to twenty months the Biden administration seems to be a complete failure. In the trump Era there was at least clarity of thought but now it seems as if the US is facing a severe crisis of leadership. China is the only country which has ended absolute poverty in the last forty years. Has given a successful economic model which is state lead economy as replacement in new liberal so called absolutely disastrous model we have seen. China has given a political meritocracy system. The timing for this global democracy summit is not correct. It reflects too many contradictions. The US experiments a failed nation building in Afghanistan. Answering to a question whether the US is taking a step to strengthen the democracy by organizing this kind of event he said a successful economic model is surfacing in the neighbor of Pakistan. Western democracy is in deep crisis. One should avoid pushing the world into a new cold war by organizing this kind of event. China has provided a stable path to prosperity to the masses. Pakistan is lucky to have China as a neighbor who is raising a successful political model based on political meritocracy and successful economic model based on state lead capitalism
While addressing the webinar Almas Haider Naqvi, a senior journalist expressed his views. He said to some extent he agrees that the standardization of democracy is under stressed for the past one or two decades. The goals and objective of this global democracy summit is to strengthen the stressed democracies. US have always used ideological credentials for real politics to protect the national interest. It has used it as a broader brand to reinstate its global leadership. If we view either Trump or Biden’s security document it is very clear China and Russia have been clubbed as future threats for US and modern liberal democracies. The fear of US is the speed and credibility which China has risen to and if China converts this potential to military potential then it will be bigger threat for US. In real political context this summit is an attempt to create its own block as it was witnessed in the last cold war where communist and capitalist block were seen. This is an attempt to create a binary upon democracy and non-democracy. This criterion is more of a real politics rather than criterion defined by Biden administration and there is a clear discrimination.
Barrister Waqas Abraiz quoted Kabir Ali, a writer of Indo Pak history, “the politics which is based on the cast, color, creed, race and prejudice approach lost its universal credibility”. There has always been a prejudice and partial approach by the US. If you neglect hundred states then it is against the spirit of democracy. China should have been invited in this summit. In the modern society China ranks above all. There is a unilateral party system and at the same time they are socialist with successful economic model and an excellent rule of law. The prejudice and partial attitude adopted by the US must come to an end.
Defense analyst and political commentator brig (Retd) Farooq Hameed said US by now does not enjoy a super power status as it has been overshadowed by China. It is not possible to keep a country out having 1.7 billion of population. There was a cold war between US and Russia and now it is between US and China. United States is now a humiliated super power after the withdrawal from Afghanistan. There is a rivalry and a strong block has been emerged as China, Russia, Pakistan and central Asian republic states. Russian and China has challenged the supremacy of US.
Nadeem Qureshi, a PTI member provincial assembly Punjab was of the opinion that this summit will not be able to play its due role for the strengthening of democracy. US have realized it has slipped out of multiple global matters. Inviting Taiwan is an indicator to it. The global democracy summit is an attempt of supremacy by the US. China is an emerging power having its own system. China has transformed into an economic power. Without China US will not be able to convey its message thorough this summit. This is an attempt to divide the world into different blocks. The world is facing multiple challenges. The US must end the policy of pick and choose. Without China the world will not accept the global summit on democracy.
Senator Dr. Afnanullah while addressing the webinar said US guards its interest and this summit is an extension to it. According to the definition of democracy, Russia and China do not qualify but some democratic countries like Iran and Turkey were not invited whereas Pakistan has been invited in the last moment which is an objectionable matter. The might of US has declined in Afghanistan which has put a dent on it but still US is a super power. There is no doubt the cold war between US and China has begun and it’s just the beginning. The next war theatre will be South China Sea. Ten years back Martin Jakes in his book “China Rules the World” narrated China will cross the super barrier by 2040 till 2050 but now it seems will happen by 2025 till 2030. US will try to slow down China economically and militarily.
Journalist and analyst Hamid Al Mashriqi said the US is holding a democracy summit. Is US able to host a democracy summit? This is the key question. Today US seem to be isolated. Ideologically US is divided within own country. Biden and Trump is the recent example of this divide. US do not control democracy but it supports all government who supports its interests. Questions should be raised on the Hippocratic attitude of the US. Has the west realized that the western democracy is about to fell down whereas the authoritative system is gaining success? The countries who have changed the pattern of governance are gaining success. The end of global leadership is pushing the world towards cold war. The global summit on democracy is based on discrimination and has lost credibility. If China, Turkey and Iran would have been invited there could be uniform system recommendations but by now the target cannot be achieved.
Qamar Cheema, a journalist and analyst said there was a time US thought the biggest ideological threat was communism. They defeated Russia. Red threat was replaced by green threat. Now China is the news threat to US. US believe in shared values but it does not suit China. China believes in comprehensive strength, common security and shared growth. China’s strategic communication plan is completely different. China is not promoting its own model instead they are replicating the western world’s model and talk about growth and development. US is not worried about what China is doing they are worried about the Europe which has been swept away by this common security, comprehensive growth and shared development agenda. US has left Europe, it has left Middle Eastern partners focusing on the indo pacific. US want to settle things in the backyard of China. The future of the world is written. It is not in Europe not in Middle East but it is written in the Indo Pacific. China initiated the belt and road initiative. US announced forty trillion dollars Build Back Better World (B3W) program. It is not possible to stop the world going into Chinese influence. This global summit on democracy is a step to stop the Chinese influence.
Member National Assembly Riaz Fatyana said it is the start of a new cold war. In the past Japan used to be second biggest economy but now China has replaced Japan. People of China are reaping the benefits from the current model of governance whereas the human development is far much better in China as compared to other countries good in democracy.
The participants also discussed that for a long time, under the banner of democracy, the United States has been infiltrating and undermining sovereign countries, imposing economic sanctions, and launching aggressive wars which had created negative impact among public of those countries. Staff Report