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     How the United States can protect democracy from China and Russia BY DAVID SHULLMAN AND PATRICK QUIRK, OPINION CONTRIBUTORS 



Subject Law and governance Pages 4 Style APA


How the United States Can Protect Democracy from China and Russia – A Critique

Strengthening democracy worldwide is a key priority of the United States’ foreign policy under President Biden. In an article published by The Hill, David Shullman and Patrick Quik identify China and Russian as the main threats to global democracy and outlines actions that the United States can take to restore global democracy. David and Patrick’s opinions raise eyebrows and controversies that need to be relooked and analyzed further. Therefore, this critique paper offers profound insights into their views and sentiments, elucidating their strengths and weaknesses.

The global political and economic spheres are run by the global superpowers, which take advantage of their economic, military and technological powers to exert their influence in various ways in favor of their interests. Currently, the United States, Russia and China are some of the global powers that try to outdo each other in the global arena. Typically, these countries exercise different political systems, with the United States terms’ as largely democratic while Russia and China as authoritarianism. This is generally considered true because, since independence, the United States has allowed its citizens to elect their leaders directly or indirectly. On the other hand, Russia and China have experienced dictatorial and autocratic leadership. This makes the United States the ambassadors of democracy. And it has a critical role to play in ensuring that democracy prevails in the world.

In the last decade, a lot has been said about the Russian and Chinese roles in interfering with political elections worldwide.  Well, this may be true in different instances, even though some remain unproven allegations. Julian Barnes noted the Kremlin’s efforts to interfere with the 2020 US elections and termed it as a security threat that must be dealt with to prevent future occurrences (Barnes, 2021). On the other hand, Beijing has been funding regimes that do not coincide with Washington, Europe, and their allies. In Africa, the Chinese have driven their agenda by interfering with the continent’s political, economic, and social systems.

Nevertheless, despite the difference in the political systems practiced by these countries, one fact is that they are all global powers with interests to achieve and protect. The question arises in their approach and foreign policies designed to achieve them. For instance, even though the US may look democratic from the outside, some of its global policies and actions speak otherwise. The United States is not as democratic as it claims because it was founded as a republic, not democratic (Mounk, 2018). Like Moscow and Beijing, Washington is not immune to global controversies. It has perpetrated some of the dirtiest global political interferences that have resulted in the assassinations and deaths of heads of sovereign states, political and economic suctions like those imposed on North Korea and Iran that have destroyed these countries’ economies and other atrocities. All these are focused on advancing Washington’s global interests and taming member states that tend to side with their opponents – China, Russian, and their allies.

Compared to an authoritarian regime, democratic governance is a better option even though each has its distinct merits and demerits. Democracy guarantees a free society, free media coverage and flow of information, and citizen-centered leadership. As a global power, the US has promoted democracy by showing its benefits. The key to ensuring democracy is first ensuring information integrity. The US government has demonstrated its commitment to free information sharing and free media coverage, compared to Russin and China that deeply sensor the information passed down to the people. The US efforts in fighting for information integrity may face setbacks due to China’s rising dominance as a social media controller due to its rapid expansion and increasing investments globally.

Shullman and Quirk noted that Washington should leverage its relationship with bilateral allies to tame the Chinese and Russian behaviors (Shullman & Quirk, 2021). Combined with more diplomatic and economic engagements with risk countries, they can surely neutralize the growing Russian and Chinese combined influence. These engagements should include offering alternative funding and investment opportunities for countries targeted by Russian and Chinese autocrats. Such programs will allow partner states to detect and counter threats and interferences on their democratic systems. According to Kempe (2019), the rising Chinese dominance is a serious problem that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) faces today. Through NATO that is largely centered on the principles of democracy, the US can lobby member states to join hands in curbing cyber insecurity, digital incursions, propaganda, and misinformation perpetrated by Kremlin and Beijing.

In conclusion, the United States, Russia and China are engaged in a global dominance battle with each party trying to advance their foreign interests differently. Whereas the US foreign policies are founded on democratic principles, those of Russia and China are largely based on misinformation, propaganda, and collaboration with autocratic regimes. Washington’s success in restoring global democracy depends on how it will handle Russia and China’s rising dominance as well as its strategic foreign policies to work with and protect democratic states that are likely to be affected.



Barnes, J. (2021). Russian Interference in 2020 Included Influencing Trump Associates, Report Says. Nytimes.com. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/16/us/politics/election-interference-russia-2020-assessment.html.

Kempe, F. (2019). Managing China is NATO’s biggest challenge yet. CNBC. from https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/07/managing-china-is-natos-biggest-challenge-yet.html.

Mounk, Y. (2018). America Is Not a Democracy. The Atlantic. from https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/03/america-is-not-a-democracy/550931/.

Shullman, D., & Quirk, P. (2021). How the United States can protect democracy from China and Russia. The Hill. from https://thehill.com/opinion/international/542945-how-the-united-states-can-protect-democracy-from-china-and-russia.

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