onsdag 21. oktober 2020

US 2020 election: Who does China really want to win?

US presidential elections have long been a source of both intrigue and irritation for China's Communist Party rulers. As arguably the most consequential exercises in democracy on the planet, they are always closely followed by government officials in Beijing. But as potential reminders of just how little choice 1.4 billion people are given over their own political future, media coverage in China is tightly controlled.

This time round though, in a US election defined by a still spiralling pandemic, a shattered economic landscape and deep political polarisation, China senses that something has changed. It is not Chinese authoritarianism but Western democracy that suddenly seems to be facing a crisis of legitimacy. The world's freest and wealthiest economy, once thought to be so much better placed to fight the virus with its tools of transparency and accountability, has fallen well short.