The shutdown of the US government exposes “chronic flaws” in the country’s political system, China’s official news agency said on Sunday.
Funding for federal agencies ran out at midnight on Friday in Washington after members of Congress failed to agree on a stopgap funding bill.
“What’s so ironic is that it came on the first anniversary of Donald Trump’s presidency on Saturday, a slap in the face for the leadership in Washington,” the Xinhua news agency’s Liu Chang said in a commentary piece.
The article said that the Trump administration had “backtracked” on policies supported by his predecessor, Barack Obama, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and US participation in the Paris climate agreement.
“If there was any legacy that has survived the transfer of power, it was the spirit of non-cooperation across party lines,” the commentary said.
While Xinhua commentaries are not official statements, they offer a reflection of Beijing’s thinking.
“The western democratic system is hailed by the developed world as near perfect and the most superior political system to run a country,” it said. “However, what’s happening in the United States today will make more people worldwide reflect on the viability and legitimacy of such a chaotic political system.”
In contrast, in October 2017, China’s president, Xi Jinping, was anointed for a second term as Communist party chief, strengthening his grip on power in the one-party state.
The Xinhua broadside comes as the Trump administration steps up its trade-related attacks on China, saying the terms for Beijing’s membership of the World Trade Organisation in 2001 were too lenient.
In a report to Congress, the White House said: “It seems clear that the United States erred in supporting China’s entry into the WTO on terms that have proven to be ineffective in securing China’s embrace of an open, market-orientated trade regime.”
This story was originally published in the guardian