Chaotic Trump-Biden debate shows 'recession of US influence, national power'

By Yang Sheng and Wang Wenwen Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/30 14:08:48

China gets mentioned more than other countries in US presidential debate


The first US presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democrat candidate Joe Biden that finished on Wednesday just showed the world a divided and chaotic US that is no longer an attractive superpower in terms of politics and soft power, and the embarrassing debate full of interruptions and pointless personal attacks largely reflects the recession of US national power, said Chinese analysts.  

The key words showed on most US and other countries' mainstream media outlets, as well as comments on social media outlets, about the debate include: embarrassment, disgrace, awful, mess and chaos. 

This has proved how disappointed the US public and people around the globe felt after watching the debate, as they can't learn anything valuable about the policies and ideas of governance, but a lot of noise and quarreling, said observers, and many Chinese netizens also commented on social media networks that the debate is more like a "low quality talk show."

"After watching the worst debate I have ever seen, I feel sorry for American people," said one Chinese web user on Weibo, and another commented on, a Chinese news website "Is there anyone still praising the 'charm' of the US political system?"     

Zhang Tengjun, an expert on US politics at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the debate is even more chaotic than those during 2016 which were full of personal attacks and disruption that impeded the audience's viewing experience and in-depth discussion of concrete policies. 

Zhang said such chaos is an epitome of US politics and representation of the sharp confrontation within US society. 

"Regrettably, from this debate, this is no sign that such confrontation and divergence could be bridged, no matter who takes the rein," said Zhang.    

Chinese experts said that in the past, the US presidential debate was a very interesting and influential event that the researchers could at least learn some valuable ideas and knowledge on US politics, but the one on Wednesday just showed that US politics is in trouble and the main reason is that US hegemony and the image of US democracy is entering a great recession in recent years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A CBS News instant poll shows 48 percent of viewers thought Biden won, and 41 percent think Trump won. Another 10 percent thought the debate was a tie. But 83 percent of viewers said the tone of the debate was negative, and the most common reaction to the debate was annoyance, according to the poll.

Lü Xiang, a research fellow on US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times on Wednesday that Biden has proved himself to those who question his skill on debate, so swing voters in the US might be more favorable to him compared to Trump, but the impact that the debate could bring to the election result is very limited.

"China" or "Chinese" have been mentioned about 20 times in topics like COVID-19, trade deficit and Biden's family members, and although China is not a main topic,it has become the most-mentioned country in the first US presidential debate.

Chinese analysts said there is no surprise that Trump and Biden play the China card to attack each other occasionally, and it has showed that China is targeted by the elites of both Republicans and Democrats. 

"Trump has tried to blame China on the COVID-19 pandemic again and Biden accused Trump of creating more trade deficits with China due to the trade war, but they didn't have any in-depth debate on China. In the next debate, if they could touch some topics like diplomacy and foreign affairs, we might learn more about their ideas on China," Lü said.

Posted in: AMERICAS

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