China’s Communist Party took American democracy to task on Saturday, sharply criticizing a global democracy summit being hosted by President Joe Biden next week and extolling the virtues of its governing system. Party officials questioned how a polarized country that botched its response to COVID-19 could lecture others, and said that efforts to force others to copy the Western democratic model are “doomed to fail.”
The harsh rhetoric reflects a growing clash of values that has been thrust into the spotlight as China rises as a global power. The question is whether the United States and other leading democracies can peacefully co-exist with a powerful authoritarian state whose actions are at odds with the Western model that emerged victorious at the end of the Cold War.
The pandemic exposed defects in the American system, said Tian Peiyan, the deputy director of the Communist Party’s Policy Research Office. He blamed the high COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. on political disputes and a divided government from the highest to the lowest levels. “Such democracy brings not happiness but disaster to voters,” he said at a news conference to release a government report on what the Communist Party calls its form of democracy, which is firmly under party control.