China’s state-run Global Times on Friday applauded the launch of a European system to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran, pleased by the damage it could inflict upon U.S. sanctions against China, Venezuela, North Korea, and other countries.
The Chinese saluted France, Germany, and Britain for moving toward a day when the U.S. dollar is no longer the world’s dominant currency and perhaps Chinese money will take its place.
The Global Times gave the French, Germans, and British a pat on the back for exercising “economic sovereignty” against “Washington’s imposition of its foreign policy on other countries,” noting that Chinese interests have also felt American pressure.
The editorial took Europe’s outreach to Iran as an encouraging step toward relieving that American pressure forever:
The strength of US sanctions is rooted in the power and reach of the US economy. The US dollar is used for the international oil and gas trade and a wide part of global trade. This gives the US an exorbitant privilege to sanction countries it opposes.
The US now maintains economic sanctions against dozens of countries including Cuba, Myanmar, Iran, North Korea and Venezuela. US sanctions are imposed when Washington thinks its interests are undermined by those regimes.
The latest sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned oil company aim to cut off source of foreign currency of Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro’s government and eventually force him to step down. Obviously the US is using sanctions on Venezuela to push forward political transition in Latin American countries.
Oddly, the Global Times editors linked their mention of North Korea to an April 2017 article in which the Global Times mentioned how Chinese citizens living near the North Korean border were terrified by the rogue state’s nuclear tests. This seems like an odd story to reference if one is complaining about America’s use of sanctions as a policy instrument.
The Global Times editors then explained how the dollar can be defeated with Europe’s help:
The world is still dominated by the US dollar and corporations. So its financial and economic measures can force other states to adjust their policies accordingly so as to fund the superpower to buttress its geopolitical hegemony. In turn, the US will abuse such hegemony to bolster its dollar supremacy. This, however, will exacerbate tensions and override the liberal international order as the US is forcefully reshaping the order to make it serve its own interests.
A new mechanism should be devised to thwart such a vicious circle. With the US-EU division now deepening, even the US’ European allies can see the downside of the US manipulation of the world order and have realized the need to help their businesses develop for the sake of their own interests.
Being a major stakeholder in the world order, China opposes unilateral sanctions. China should join hands with more countries to negotiate and explore a system fit for the dynamics of a multipolar world.
Iran’s nuclear agency complained on Thursday that China is “reducing the speed of cooperation” on a joint nuclear reactor project because it fears triggering U.S. sanctions against its nuclear firms. The Iranians warned they have “alternative choices” for partnership in the project if the Chinese continue dragging their feet.