Memorial ceremonies were held in various cities across the U.S. on Saturday that marked the 20th year of the Sept. 11 attacks. The ceremonies were solemn on the 20th year of the the terrorist attacks that took 2,977 lives and the Afghanistan war that was ended at the end of August. Americans put up posts that go “Never Forget” and leaders including former and incumbent presidents asked for unity and consolidation against terrorism. Global leaders also highlighted international coalition.
The Sept. 11 attacks were an incident that triggered tremendous fear and rage in the liberalist international order in early 21st century and put the power of the U.S., the most powerful country on earth, on the testbed. The U.S., which won the cold war 10 years ago and led the international order, declared a war against terrorism that led to the Afghanistan war and the invasion of Iraq. But Afghanistan and Iraq were a pit for the U.S. The pitiable withdrawal of the U.S. troops from Afghanistan last month symbolized this.
The U.S. now plans to put itself out of the mire and focus wholly on the hegemony competition against China. The Biden administration did not hide its intention to hold China in check and envelop it with much more sophisticated and meticulous strategies than the previous administrations. It comes from the sense of crisis that China’s fierce challenge could put the U.S. in a perilous position. China showed its firm resolution to confront the U.S. while remaining vigilant.
It is a good thing that U.S. President Joe Biden agreed to take international responsibilities through interaction and communication in a call with Chinese President Xi Jinping which he had for the first time in the past seven months. Even though they still had different standpoints, but the call, which happened a day before the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, has a significant meaning. It has been 20 years since the U.S. declared a war against terrorism, but the war became a lot more difficult to win. Terrorism is not the only field that requires cooperation between the U.S. and China. There are numerous fields that need cooperation such as climate change and non-proliferation of North Korea’s nuclear programs. Fierce competition is inevitable in international politics. But confrontation between superpowers and power politics can only bring a disaster to the global community. They should cooperate while competing against each other.