While the world is gripped by an acute pandemic and needs fair and confident coordination of efforts (since the threat is transnational and no country is able to stand alone), the American establishment is not concerned about issues of real humanitarian assistance to the world and the solution of the COVID-19 crisis, but, first of all, its positions in global geopolitics.

Apparently, the broad program of international assistance organized by China, in fact, does not give rest to the United States.
Recently, the authoritative American “think tank” The Heritage Foundation, which is very closely connected with the current administration of D. Trump, published an emotional post about the leadership of the United States in the world and the political benefits that China is striving for against the background of the fight against COVID-19.

The short publication entitled “Even in a pandemic, America remains the World Leader” (Even in Pandemic, America Still the Global Leader) reflects the views and priorities of D. Trump’s team, which let the COVID-19 crisis take its course inside its country (for which it is criticized by Democrats) and discusses issues of rivalry with China.
Traditionally, the publication calls the coronavirus “Chinese”, and the material itself contains direct criticism of Beijing’s actions to provide humanitarian assistance to a wide range of countries. It should be assumed that if China had coped with the epidemic, but then did not actively help the world, then in this case the Americans would probably have criticized it for inaction (!). The logic is strong.

So, the author of the publication X. Dale focuses on the speech of US Secretary of State M.Pompeo, who seeks to ” correct incorrect, in his understanding, ideas about American and Chinese leadership in the coronavirus crisis.”
According to the United States, China has now strengthened its global propaganda work, striving to take a leading position. And, according to D. Trump’s team, China cannot claim leadership, “being a country that has become the source of the coronavirus, the cause of the global crisis and the owner of the reputation of unscrupulous authoritarian leadership.” Americans always think the same way: starting with one thing, they return to the issues of democracy and non-democracy.
Despite the obvious failures of American healthcare (which is only the dynamics of the growth of the number of infected people or the extreme situation in New York), M. Pompeo for some reason believes that the leadership clearly belongs to the United States, even when they are dealing with a severe health crisis.

H. Dale of The Heritage Foundation notes that in a recent interview with Asian journalists, Pompeo spoke about some disinformation campaigns initiated by China, Russia and Iran about the origin of the coronavirus, and stressed the US commitment to its partners and the international community.
According to Pompeo, ” the narratives are different, but each of them has the same component, which is to avoid responsibility and try to create confusion in the world – confusion about where the virus appeared, as well as confusion about how countries respond to it and which countries are actually helping the world. And we think it’s important that these stories are corrected.”

But why is it normal when the American ideological machine, through all possible communication channels, talks widely about the assistance provided by the United States to other countries – and China and other countries should be silent on similar topics? If this is a certain right of a global leader, then this is a very controversial right.
At the same time, the author of the article does not talk about which countries the United States is currently providing humanitarian assistance in the conditions of the COVID-19 crisis (in fact, there is very little of it), but tries to play with the comparative statistics of investments of the United States and China in various international organizations. It is unclear why X. Dale makes these comparisons, because we are not talking about a contribution to the UN, but about real assistance in a specific case with the coronavirus pandemic.

But according to The Heritage Foundation, the US State Department recently announced $ 274 million in aid, which will be provided to 64 priority countries, including Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, India and Kazakhstan. It is not entirely clear why, but the author believes that the United States is the largest partner in helping these countries overcome this crisis.
Although in fact, if we talk about Kazakhstan (since the author mentions our country), 80% of the humanitarian assistance provided to Kazakhstan today as part of the COVID-19 counteraction falls on the PRC. And there is no large-scale propaganda on this issue: our country helped the Chinese in February this year, after the Republic of Kazakhstan began to need support – China, which defeated the epidemic, helps us as a good neighbor.

At the same time, the article of The Heritage Foundation itself is very similar to propaganda. Thus, the publication claims that the United States was one of the first countries that allegedly also offered support to China, offering assistance to Wuhan within a few days after the outbreak of the disease through multilateral organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO).
Although according to the Chinese side, no official assistance from the United States for China was received through official channels, but humanitarian supplies did come from the United States – through American corporations, but not the US State Department.
Then, in her publication, the author began to compare for some reason which of the two countries finances the UN system more, although we are talking about a humanitarian crisis in the world, within which the United States actually withdrew itself.

Moreover, the European media are now full of numerous reports that American buyers “like pirates” directly from the departing boards (paid for by Europeans) are buying medical masks in China at a higher price – thereby depriving their NATO allies France, Germany, Italy, etc. opportunities to protect their population. Why is the author silent about these facts, to which the leaders of European states react very emotionally?
However, the main argument of the US leadership is the fact that Americans allegedly spend many times more than China allocates to international organizations today. So, according to Pompeo, ” we are certainly the largest sponsors of organizations such as the UN Children’s Fund and the World Food Program, because we believe in effective multilateralism, which is aimed at helping those in need, and not at getting political bonuses. This is what real world leadership looks like.”

According to The Heritage Foundation, in 2019, the United States contributed more than $ 400 million. to the UN World Health Organization, which is responsible for the international coordination of the response to the coronavirus. China, the world’s second-largest economy, contributed $ 44 million. In 2019, the United States contributed more than $ 700 million to UNICEF – the UN Children’s Fund. China contributed $ 16 million. UNICEF was one of the first organizations that provided assistance to the Chinese people during the COVID-19 pandemic. On January 29 this year. The Fund delivered a cargo of 6 tons to Shanghai, including respiratory masks and protective suits for health workers for distribution in Wuhan. But UNICEF is funded not only by the United States, so it is strange to talk about American aid to China here.

In 2019, the United States provided the UN High Commissioner for Refugees with almost $ 1.7 billion, which helps millions of refugees around the world. China contributed $ 1.9 million. In 2019, the United States provided 42% of the $ 8 billion allocated by the World Food Program, which is 4 times more than the next leading member state. According to the Americans, China provided $ 30 million.
And if we compare the statistics, how many weapons are sold by the United States on the world market, which is then used in dozens of military conflicts, and how much do Americans spend on their military operations abroad and new military developments? The publication of the American think tank is silent about this, because it will also be very difficult to compare it with similar expenses of the PRC. Moreover, the figures will clearly not be in favor of the United States.

You can look at any situation from different sides.
And at the end, the author makes a reference to Matthew Krenig’s new book “The Return of Great Power Rivalry: Democracy against Autocracy from the Ancient World to the United States and China” – the title of which gives a good understanding of the essence of the emotional publication of The Heritage Foundation. It becomes clear that in the Republican camp of the US political establishment, they are very nervous about the obvious strengthening of the process of the gradual loss of their country’s international positions.

However, today Americans, objectively, cannot offer the world an effective vaccine (despite Trump’s March statements that the US has advanced science and the best doctors in the world?!). The United States cannot offer the world a new economic model of development (except to print another 6 trillion rubles). unsecured new dollar banknotes, the effect of which on the world economy may be ambiguous).

Yes, indeed, the United States is still a very strong military power. But in the fight against the invisible enemy in the face of COVID-19, neither the advanced army nor the largest US military expenditures will help (about $ 700 billion, which is the largest military budget in the world, about which nothing is said in the publication of The Heritage Foundation and in comparison with which Washington’s subsidies for the UN seem really pathetic).
And the United States is returning to its favorite ideological fairy tale about democracy. In particular, in the final part of the publication under consideration, the author quotes the above-mentioned book with the statement: “sociologists have studied whether democracy is better in discrete tasks: economic growth, building alliances, and military efficiency. And the repeated conclusion is that democracies are doing better.”

The author claims that “democracies also excel in transparency and innovations necessary to combat diseases” (such arguments are interesting especially against the background of 18,860 people who died in the United States, according to this indicator, the country has already surpassed Italy). According to the Americans, ” the autocratic government of China would like to take advantage of the global health crisis created by it.”
D. Hale argues that ” history suggests that a democratic United States will survive the storm, leave and remain a world leader.” But wait, the world today is in dire need of humanitarian assistance and innovative medical solutions, because the lives of hundreds of millions of people are at stake. And the United States is once again talking about the superiority of its model of political governance, which, by the way, shows itself very inconsistently in the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

No one in this article seeks to enter into scientific discussions about the productivity of a particular political system (each nation has its own mentality, history and traditions), but for some reason today it is the so-called democratic countries that demonstrate the greatest mortality among their population and the obvious failure of the health care systems they have created.
And the Republican The Heritage Foundation, apparently against the background of the lack of real arguments against the natural increase in the attractiveness of China (which now provides assistance to 136 countries of the world), broadcasts to us the mood in the ruling part of the American elite, apparently very disconnected from the situation in the global world. Apparently, the time has come for more pragmatic American Democrats to return to leading positions in the US government system and return to a relatively more constructive foreign policy (the Clinton and Obama periods were also not ideal, but Trump is clearly dragging Americans down).

The material of The Heritage Foundation attracted the attention of our Center by mentioning Kazakhstan and the alleged humanitarian aid provided by the United States.
In fairness, I must say that the Americans did send some kind of small box through USAID.
But in fact, it was so modest (a couple of small boxes with masks) that it went virtually unnoticed in our media. But, surprisingly, this was enough to use the name of Kazakhstan by the American pro-government center for an ideological struggle with the PRC.


China Studies Centre,

Nur-Sultan, 2020

Number of shows: 1941