Chinese State Media Argues That Trump's Impeachment Demonstrates 'Flaws of Western-Style Democracy'

An editorial published by Chinese state-controlled media argued that President Donald Trump's impeachment has revealed the "flaws of Western-style democracy."

China's The Global Times, an English-language daily tabloid published by the Chinese Communist Party, argued that the impeachment showed the "hypocrisy of partisan politics" and asserted that impeachments in the U.S. have "led to negative perceptions of Western-style democracy."

"Comments on the impeachment made by prominent Democrats and Republicans were poles apart, but all sounded just and upright. However, what lies beneath are political calculations for their own party. Political hypocrisy has become legitimate and been brought into the open in the U.S. No politicians would be ashamed of making false statements for their own interests," the piece claimed.

The authors went on to argue that Trump's impeachment reflected "the true face of American politics," and that "Institutional flaws of Western-style democracy in recent years have increasingly been activated and expanded. The U.S. is becoming growingly 'extreme' be it in domestic politics or on [the] global stage."

Xi and Trump
China's President Xi Jinping speaks next to President Donald Trump during a business leaders event at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 9, 2017 NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty

The article also noted that the "partisan" nature of U.S. politics could have a negative impact on already tense relations between Beijing and Washington. "To deal with a U.S. that is undergoing domestic struggles, the Chinese people should have more patience and prepare for uncertainties," the paper warned. "The U.S. is the only superpower. We have no other choice but to cope with challenges from the U.S."

Newsweek has reached out to the State Department for a response to the commentary from the Chinese newspaper.

China's People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, which publishes The Global Times, also dubbed the impeachment as a "partisan struggle" in a news article reporting on the vote in the House of Representatives. The two articles of impeachment passed in the lower chamber of Congress almost entirely along party lines.

China's government has not commented publicly on the impeachment, which is in line with its normal diplomatic protocol, according to the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post. However, some analysts have suggested that Chinese authorities view Trump's impeachment as weakening the president.

"The Chinese view [is] that Trump has squandered whatever political capital he had and will get nothing done in Congress. Trump is also in an embattled state and clearly distracted by an ongoing process that eventually will be a trial before the Senate," James Zimmerman, a partner in the Beijing office of law firm Perkins Coie and a former chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, told The Post.

The impeachment came as Beijing and Washington have inched closer to signing the first phase of a trade deal, which would ease tensions that emerged last summer after Trump added tariffs to billions of Chinese imports. China responded with reciprocal measures, leading to a trade war that has strained U.S. farmers and caused a ripple effect felt by businesses across the globe.

The first part of the new trade pact, announced last week, would reportedly see Beijing increase its purchases of American agricultural products. However, the Chinese have been less forthcoming than the White House regarding details they have agreed to. Over the past year and a half, U.S. and Chinese officials have at times appeared close to signing a deal, only to see negotiations stall.

According to Human Rights Watch, all media in China is tightly controlled by the ruling Communist Party. The internet and social media are also tightly censored and watched by authorities. But China's President Xi Jinping has insisted that the one-party system governing his nation is a model that the rest of the world should follow. Last year, the leader said it was "a great contribution to political civilization of humanity."