Chinese state publications are using leftist protests over the weekend to argue that President Donald Trump has a fragile mandate to govern, and that this proves that free societies are weaker ones than communist dictatorships like that of China.
This according to an opinion article in the Global Times, often China’s most belligerent state-run newspaper. “From the protests against Trump, Chinese people found the schism in the US is becoming increasingly serious and are questioning the reliability and universality of the Western democratic system,” the column argues, citing Chinese social media users as its source. The column also quotes Chinese professor Chu Yin, who says, “many Americans don’t accept ‘procedural justice’ any more just because left-wingers and liberals have decided that Trump’s victory is the death of democracy.”
“Some Chinese analysts believe the widespread protests show the fragility of Western democracy,” the column claims. The Global Times published another commentary claiming the United States is currently embroiled in total chaos.”
The U.S. is not a united country now, and the authority of its current leadership is not guaranteed,” the article claims, adding that Trump “has a lot of ‘enemies’ within, and he is also making ‘enemies’ across the world.”
Bloomberg notes that the Mandarin-language, state-run newspaper People’s Daily is also promoting the idea that free societies are on the brink of collapse due to President Trump’s inauguration. “Western style democracy used to be a recognized power in history to drive social development. But now it has reached its limits,” a People’s Daily article reads. “Democracy is already kidnapped by the capitals and has become the weapon for capitalists to chase profits.” The newspaper reportedly “devoted an entire page on Sunday to critiquing Western democracies… saying the ultimate defeat of capitalism would enable Communism to emerge victorious.”
While the propaganda newspapers have begun to use Trump to galvanize support for the Communist Party, Beijing itself has continued to approach Trump with polite concern. Rather than making any generalizations about the meaning of Trump’s victory on a largely anti-China platform, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has repeatedly demanded that Trump respect Communist Party demands, such as their illegal claim to most of the South China Sea and the continued lack of recognition of Taiwan’s sovereignty.
“We urge the new administration to fully understand the high sensitivity of the Taiwan issue and to continue pursuing the one China policy,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Monday, following up on comments before the inauguration that sounded little like the combative pieces in official state media. On Friday, asked about Trump’s upcoming inauguration, Hua said:
We would like to join hands with the new US administration to uphold the principles of non-confrontation, non-conflict, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, deepen communication and dialogue, build up mutual trust, respect and accommodate each other’s core interests and major concerns, properly deal with sensitive issues and disputes in constructive ways, expand bilateral cooperation on bilateral, regional and global issues across the board, and propel further development of China-US ties at a new staring point.
Trump has repeatedly stated that he does not think that the “One China” policy, which demands other nations ignore Taiwan’s sovereignty, should remain in effect unquestioned. He has also engaged in one-on-one communications with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, breaking decades-long precedent and infuriating China. While the Foreign Ministry has kept its tone civil, however, Chinese state media has not. In contrast to Hua, the state-run China Daily published a story warning that Beijing will “take the gloves off” with Trump should he continue to entertain the idea of ending “One China.”