U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the General Debate of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at the UN headquarters in New York, on Sept. 19, 2017. (Xinhua/Li Rui)
The world is facing a wide array of problems like rampant terrorism and sluggish global economic recovery, and it is certainly not a good time to celebrate unilateralism and isolationism.
In his first speech addressing the UN General Assembly as U.S. president on Tuesday, Donald Trump vowed again to put "America first," saying his country refused to "be taken advantage of" and will never enter one-sided deals "where the United States gets nothing in return."
This is not the first time the U.S. leader made such isolationist and nationalist policy manifestations. Since taking office on Jan. 20, the Trump administration has initiated and carried out a host of decisions that attempt to put Washington's self-interests over anyone else.
In fighting climate change, the United States is mulling to withdraw from the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, a historic accord it once played a key role in making.
In foreign trade, Washington seems to be turning its back on the spirit of free trade. It has departed from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement signed by 12 countries that border the Pacific Ocean, with no subsequent steps to negotiate a truly pro-trade deal the Asia Pacific region needs. It is also trying to re-bargain the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, while at the same time to rip the deal apart.
In global governance, the United Nations, the world's largest intergovernmental organization, was once described by Trump as "a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time," causing many observers to anticipate major changes in the United States' relationship with the world body.
However, facing new challenges and threats, no country, including the world's sole superpower, can fight alone.
In fact, more and more countries have realized that sticking to international cooperation helps address global challenges. This is why some 130 heads of state and government are gathering at the week-long session of the UN General Assembly to share views and seek proper ways for cooperation.
However, by seeking to put itself above all else, Washington is risking to walk on a lonely path in an increasingly interdependent world, where it is obviously not possible for the United States to stay aloof from global problems.
As the world is becoming a community of shared future, only through expanding cooperation worldwide and embracing multilateralism can the world nations solve all sorts of thorny issues, and maintain global peace and stability.
As for the decision makers in Washington, it is hoped that they could turn away from the pursuit of pure self-serving policies and reset its relations with the rest of the world in a more cooperative manner.
Were all nations' capitals forced to follow Washington's lead to and act in their self-interests, then all would lose dearly.