"Oh, no! Simon Tisdall has once again referred to 'the international rules-based order’."
-It's all the rage. Ursula von Warmonger- the one woman European economic wrecking ball puffs it as s "security architecture" - oh how very cultured it all sounds:
"It must be free, open, interconnected, prosperous, with a rules-based security architecture that serves all interests..."
US Secretary for War Blinken of course never saw a "Military Intervention" he didn't approve of until the Russians with great reluctance followed the US lead in Ukraine, tells us with China : "We are seeking, resolutely so, to uphold the rules-based International order..."
They don't of course tell you what the glib reasonable-sounding phrase actually means. The idea is to let people mistakenly infer they are talking about "International Law" which they aren't as the US doesn't recognise such a thing.
Because it wouldn't sound reasonable at all if expressed clearly:
"You must follow US Rules... which apply to everyone in the world but not to the US..."