China releases report that removes facade of American democracy
Growing discontent over US hegemony a strong rebuttal to its practice ahead of summit for democracy
Published: Mar 20, 2023 10:47 PM
US democracy Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

US democracy Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

On the day that marked the 20th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq, the Chinese Foreign Ministry released a report on Monday further unveiling the decline of American democracy and the chaos it has brought to the world under its disguise.

Analysts called the report, along with an increasing number of developing countries' growing discontent over US' hegemony,  a "slap in the US face" and it helps remove the facade of American democracy, especially when the Biden administration is so keen on touting the "democracy versus authoritarianism" narrative for the second Summit for Democracy on March 29 and 30. 

The report, titled "The State of Democracy in the United States: 2022," contains four parts, and by collecting a multitude of facts, media comments and expert opinions, it presents a complete and real picture of American democracy over the year - not only revealing American democracy in chaos at home but also presenting the havoc and disaster the US has brought by peddling and imposing its democracy around the world. 

After US President Joe Biden took office, he has persisted in attempting to restore the US' "leadership" on democracy and ramped up efforts to weaponize democracy to suppress new emerging economies, especially China. The Monday report is China's countermeasure against the US' intensifying political warfare, Lü Xiang, research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday. 

On December 9 to 10, 2021, Biden held a virtual summit for democracy to "renew democracy at home and confront autocracies abroad," an event that was met with domestic and overseas criticism. On March 29 to 30, the US will continue to host the second summit for democracy together with some other countries, an event that has been criticized as more like pulling together an "interests camp." 

On December 5, 2021, days before the US' first Summit for Democracy, the Chinese Foreign Ministry also released a report unveiling deep-seated problems in American democracy.

Lü said that aside from tearing away the fig leaf of the declining American democracy, these objective reports are also a reminder to more countries that American democracy is not a model for the world, and every country should choose its own path for democracy.

Domestic ills to global havoc 

The Monday report fully digs into the problems and institutional crises facing American democracy at home, including intensified political polarization through partisan fights, rampant money politics, "freedom of speech" in name only, a judicial system that is blind to public opinion, and increasing disillusionment among Americans. 

The report noted that two years after the Capitol riots on January 6, 2021, the US system of democracy still has difficulty in learning the lessons, as political violence continued to spread and deteriorate. It is observed that American democracy is in worse state than ever before, with the congressional riots fully exposing social rifts, political divisions and rampant misinformation.

Although US politicians still claim the country to be a "beacon of democracy for the world," the torch held by the Statue of Liberty has dimmed as more governance failures have been exposed, said observers. 

American democracy was embodied in its checks and balances and its election systems. However, due to the current imbalance among interests camps within the US, the election system may lead to extreme uncertainty - this can be seen from elections since 2016 and in the 2024 presidential election. Under such uncertainty, the US government is inclined to take adventurist actions, especially in diplomacy, which may bring risks to other countries, said Lü. 

Social confrontations, systemic racism, a widening wealth gap, growing financial risks… these are all problems that have been inflicted on Americans while politicians who wallow in political fights have little time to deal with their real concerns, Zhu Ying, a professor from the Baize Institute at the Southwest University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times.

There was one question that Biden failed to discuss at the summit for democracy previously: "Is American democracy the only good democracy?", nor did he touch on the topics of the decline of American democracy and the evil fruits it created, including populism and unilateral sanctions, said Zhu. 

Instead of reflecting on the dysfunction of American democracy, the US continues to export American democratic values to other countries. Analysts said that the timing of the report's release on Monday - the day the US and its allies launched an invasion of Iraq 20 years ago citing the lie of "weapons of mass destruction" and causing numerous tragedies in the region - highlights the chaos and turbulence the US has brought to the world. 

The US' imposition of its democracy is not real democracy but hegemonic democracy. "The blood in Iraq, Syria and many other countries has taught countries around the world to be more vigilant when the US knocks on their door carrying the banner of democracy," said Zhu.