Defending Democracy: Will US’s Skepticism Lead to China’s Rise

The United States has always committed itself to defend democracy inside and outside the borders. But the strategy is changing, and China takes advantage of the US’s absence and gains more geopolitical power. 

Democracy Makes the World More Secure Place

The US foreign policy is defined as being based on democracy and respect for human rights. Hence, the US tries to support democracy worldwide to promote American values. Besides, the US government says by defending democracy outside its borders, the world will be a more secure and stable place, where the US can advance its national interests. According to the American vision, democratically governed nations are more likely to secure peace and deter aggression.

A democratic government allegedly protects American citizens, combats international terrorism and crime, upholds human rights, avoids humanitarian and refugee crises. It also improves the global environment and protects human health. This is the basis and justification for the United States to assist newly formed democracies and help that country by advocating democracy.

US Foreign Policy Prioritizes Promoting Democracy

Defending democracy is a significant challenge that needs global support to put people’s determination into a worldwide priority. US political leaders have always exaggerated their commitment to democracy as an essential international duty. After the Cold War, the US foreign policy prioritized promoting and defending democracy as a critical goal. Democratization was a reason for most US military’s intervention and presence in other countries. The US has claimed, promoting and defending democracy meant to implement democratic principles for global security and prosperity.

However, critics have argued that promoting democracy could be disadvantageous to the US in recent years. One of the main reasons is that democratization could increase the risk of war. Another reason is that democratization in societies that are not thoroughly liberal could be detrimental to the country.

Weak Democracies Are Vulnerable Against Extremism 

The Declaration of Independence considered liberty as a right for the people of the US and yearned that liberty is a right for the whole world. Since then, Americans have been judgmental and concerned about the domestic order in other countries. The US foreign policy sets the principles to shape the political developments of other countries.


The US believes that it should defend democracy globally because strong democracies are more stable partners. In the US foreign policy, it is imperative to support democracy to stop authoritarian countries like Russia and China. The US foreign policy says that weak democracies are divided and vulnerable against extremist movements. The US seeks to show the world that it can deliver true democracies for its people and other countries more than anyone else.

The US Does Not Support Democracy in Sudan

Lately, the world has witnessed the rise of far-right extremism and ongoing turmoil in Ukraine and Sudan. At the same time, Russia and China have a more global presence in the world crisis. But President Joe Biden has had a wait-and-see policy and did not support Sudan’s democratic movement. He did not take any action to promote democracy in Ukraine. Protestors in Sudan tried to dismantle the oppressive state but the government beat and assaulted the people.

Sudan government detained the protestors and used anti-aircraft weapons against crowds. Biden administration claimed that it would continue to solidarity with Sudan’s democrats. There is a democratic transition struggle in Sudan, but Washington does not support democracy contrary to an active process promised by Biden.

Ukraine a Hub for Right-Wing Extremists 

Recently, right-wing extremists have been working together all around the globe, more than at any other time. The right-wing extremists have spread across borders and are no longer limited to nationalist goals but cooperate against a global enemy. The conflict in Ukraine that started in 2014 has had a significant impact on right-wing movements. A 2019 report mentioned that Ukraine had become a hub in a more extensive network of transnational right extremism. Russia does not want democracy in Ukraine and has backed separatists since the beginning of the conflict.

Promoting and defending democracy in Ukraine by US governments could deter Russian aggression. At the beginning of 2022, Russian troops gathered near Ukraine’s borders, heightening the fear of war. Russia undermines all kinds of democracies and pushes its influence as far as it goes because a democratic Ukraine with a connection to the US would be a threat to Russia.

The US, China Compete in Geopolitics 

Over the recent decades, democracy has suffered a lot in Southeast Asia, where China is the leading US rival. In the new cold war between the US and China, Beijing has threatened American strategy. Democracy has declined in many regions worldwide, and the current US government has taken a soft approach to democracy. There is Chinese pressure in Taiwan where the US and its allies should defend democracy.

The US has prioritized significant relations with weak democracies and autocracies in the region over democracy promotion. US and China compete in different areas such as geopolitics, ideology and technology. Geopolitics has driven the US-China conflict and has placed them in a long term rivalry, and China seeks to gain its interests.

Biden Cares Less for Democracy Abroad

Currently, promoting and defending democracy in other countries has not been a significant priority for the American people. However, for all the talk of democracy’s importance, the Biden administration has said little about democracy’s promotion abroad. The repeated subject in his words is a democratic unity, a strong democracy at home and among democratic partners. China’s rise is a challenge for the current US government and a geopolitical competitor in Southeast Asia. China’s growing alliance with Russia has created new obstacles for promoters and defenders of democracy. The US should not have left the playing field of supporting democracy outside its borders. The Biden administration’s silence reflects the US’s indifference to over-promoting and protecting democracy throughout recent years.


There is a critical distinction between democracy in principle and democracy in practice. The US foreign policy is based on domestic democracy and promoting democracy abroad. Defending democracy needs a strategy to engage with democracy movements directly. Now, authoritarianism and nationalistic desires are on the rise around the world.

Governments are less transparent and have lost the trust of the people. Violence and corruption are growing in the four corners of the globe. The United States that has always meddled in other countries to promote democracy is shifting its strategy. With such a shift, the US is losing its geopolitical influence while China and Russia increase their world conflicts. The US is not as influential and powerful as it used to be on the international stage.

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