China reckons US democracy is imploding but could be missing the point

China reckons US democracy is imploding but could be missing the point

China’s wolf warrior diplomats and its state-run media have described the storming of Washington’s Capitol building on January 6 as a failure of US democracy. But an alternative view is that it may instead be a sign of the democratic system’s strength.

Academics say the flaws in US politics are there for all to see, but the China narrative often reflects misunderstandings about how a democratic system works. And, while American democracy may have taken some body blows under outgoing president Donald Trump, they argue it is not out for the count.

Trump’s opponents say the attacks in Washington were the culmination of his attempts to undermine the US system of elections and a governance built on constraining power. But, while parts of the system buckled – as he took advantage of decades of increasingly powerful presidents and Congressional willingness to cede responsibility – the judiciary and other parts of the structure held.