Chinese public cast doubt on democracy in US campaigns

By Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2016/10/27 0:43:39 Last Updated: 2016/10/27 2:06:14

Media, elite, Hollywood ‘biased against Trump’

The "dirtiest campaign" in the US since World War II is becoming a butt of jokes for many Chinese who have followed the election across the Pacific, with many questioning the objectivity of Western media, observers said.

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and her Republican rival Donald Trump intensified their attacks on each other as they head to the election on November 8, with Trump warning that a Clinton win could potentially trigger "World War III" from Syria.

For most people in China, the US presidential election is more like a reality show rather than a political event which will deeply influence the only remaining superpower and even the world.

A middle-aged company owner surnamed Su told the Global Times that "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."

"Even US media refers to the election as the 'dirtiest campaign,' but it is too early to say whether the US democratic system has a huge problem. But it's very clear that the quality of the campaign this year is very low," Jin Canrong, associate dean of the School of International Studies at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times.

US media and the two candidates frequently tackle "low topics," such as sexual assault, the e-mail scandal and racism, because they are unable to discuss "high topics," so they just stay low to avoid committing mistakes, Su said. "Neither of these candidates can provide solutions for the US on its economy, foreign affairs and immigration issue."

Some Republican politicians also oppose Trump, because in comparison, they find Clinton more acceptable, Chu said, "that's why Trump refuses to say he will accept the result even if he loses, because the game is unfair."

Unfair campaign

After three presidential debates, almost all mainstream US media released poll results showing Clinton winning, but social media polls are totally different, Chu Yin, a professor at the University of International Relations, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Trump is more popular than Clinton in cyberspace. Trump has 12.7 million followers on Twitter to Clinton's 9.99 million. A Twitter poll showed 66 percent thought Trump won the final debate.

The Chinese have also taken note of mainstream US media.

They criticize Trump for statements which offend women, and have even asked Trump's daughter Ivanka about her dad's behavior and statements, and "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?" Chu said.

On October 13, CNN cut short its interview with Utah Republican chairman James Evans when he mentioned Bill Clinton's alleged illegitimate child.

A Web user on, a Chinese news website, said "CNN and other mainstream media's freedom of speech only serves Hillary Clinton." Another Web user said "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."

All mainstream media and traditional elites and even Hollywood support Clinton, because Trump represents an anti-establishment challenge to the existing system, Jin said. "By this you can understand why the campaign is unfair," Chu added.

Chinese political experts have criticized the hypocrisy of US democracy in this year's election campaign. Hillary Clinton has fully embraced Wall Street elites and plotted to contain her Democratic rival Bernie Sanders, which revealed the monetary nature of US democracy.

The mainstream US media's biased reports of the election have revealed the trend of US media organizations from independent to partisan media, Shen Yi, a professor of international relations and public affairs at Fudan University, wrote for the Xinhua News Agency.

Posted in: POLITICS

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