China is laughing at America’s election and the media’s coverage of the election, noting that both make a sad argument for Western democracy.
“In the past, I thought the US had the best education and most developed democracy in the world, but now what do they have for president? Either a crazy guy or a swindler,” a Chinese business owner told the Global Times.
“The race to the bottom will … make [people] rethink the value of democracy,” the Global Times previously said of the elections. The election, deemed one of the “dirtiest” since World War II, “reflects the decay of U.S. politics and a deeply divided society,” the Xinhua News Agency argued.
“People forget serious issues. They talk about sex, locker room conversation, men and lousy behavior. Debates are getting nasty and that undermines the strength of Western democracy,” Yang Rui, an anchor for China’s state television, told the BBC. He added that using a ballot box to make major decisions is a bad idea because “you have to suppose every voter is rational and reasonable.”
“[China’s non-democratic system] has allowed China forty years of uninterrupted growth within a stable system. Quiet deliberation is a more effective form of policy than a public shouting match, because policy making is complicated,” Fang Xinghai, a senior Communist Party of China official and the vice chair of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, told reporters.
China regularly uses American elections to attack the U.S. political system and justify its non-democratic, authoritarian system. “For a long time, the United States has boasted about how its extremely lively election is a sign of the superiority of the system, and it has even used this to willfully criticize the vast majority of developing countries,” asserted the People’s Daily, “The extreme self-confidence and arrogance by the ‘preacher of democracy’ should be reined in.”
Beyond attacking the democratic process, Chinese critics of the election also targeted the mainstream media and America’s treasured freedom of speech, pointing out that the media has undermined this tradition.
“CNN and other mainstream media’s freedom of speech only serves Hillary Clinton,” said one netizen on Guancha.cn. “In the US, political elites and media magnates have the freedom to say anything they want, while others can only choose to repeat their words or shut up,” said another, according to the Global Times.
The mainstream media is “biased” against Trump, argued Fudan University international relations and public affairs professor Shen Yi.
The media has criticized Donald Trump for his offensive statements, and media outlets have even asked Trump’s daughter Ivanka about her dad’s behavior.
“This is unfair. I am not saying Trump is a good man, but has the media asked Chelsea Clinton about her father’s scandals and her mother’s reaction?” Asked Chu Yin, a professor at the University of International Relations.
The mainstream media and elites, as well as Hollywood, support Clinton because Trump is an anti-establishment associate dean of the School of International Studies at the Renmin University of China. “By this you can understand why the campaign is unfair,” Chu added.
Chinese attitudes towards the election appear particularly bleak. Nonetheless, China has promised to work with whoever wins the presidency to advance U.S.-China ties. “I believe that no matter in the end who wins the laurel and serves as president, the underlying trend of China-U.S. relations will not change,”Premier Li Keqiang said back in March. He added that the trend is “forward development.”
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