US enemies like China and Iran see an opportunity in the chaos of Trump-stoked Capitol riots

US enemies like China and Iran see an opportunity in the chaos of Trump-stoked Capitol riots

LONDON – For America’s opponents, there has been no more evidence of the fallibility of Western democracy than a spectacle The U.S. Capitol is shrouded in smoke and surrounded by mobs By their boss inadvertently outgoing.

Previously ChinaAnd the Iran And the Russia He pointed to the turmoil in Washington as evidence that the often flaunted American system of government is fundamentally flawed and rife with hypocrisy.

There is grave concern across Europe, too. Not only because of the division and instability that rocked their staunch ally across the Atlantic, but also in what that means for their relationship with Washington afterward. President-elect Joe Biden It opened within two weeks.

Many wonder how the United States can lecture other countries again about democratic values ​​or how it can tell other countries that they are not internally stable enough to obtain nuclear weapons.

Protesters enter the US Capitol on Wednesday.Wayne McNamee / Getty Images

“You now see the situation in the United States,” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a televised speech on Friday. “This is their democracy and their human rights, this is their election scandal, these are their values. These values ​​are mocked by the whole world. Even their friends mock them.”

While Iran criticized, its government in Tehran cracked down on its people’s rights to freedom of expression and assembly, and its security forces used lethal force to quell protests, killing hundreds of people and arbitrarily arresting thousands, according to Amnesty International in London.

In China and Russia, officials have questioned why US lawmakers are so quick to support pro-democracy protesters in other parts of the world as unrest rages in their streets.

“You may all remember the words that some US officials and lawmakers and some media used about Hong Kong at that time,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a press briefing Thursday. “What are they saying about the United States now?”

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Hong Kong Police More than 50 pro-democracy personalities have been arrested Wednesday alleging his new strict violation National Security Act. Anthony Blinken Biden’s candidate for the post of Secretary of State He said on Twitter this week The new administration will “stand with the people of Hong Kong and against Beijing’s crackdown on democracy.”

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In Russia, Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the lower house of parliament, told state media that the “echo of the“ color revolutions, ”as we see, belongs to the United States,” referring to the wave of democratic uprisings that the West supported across the republics of the Soviet Union The former in the first decade of the twenty-first century.

Many people indicated that many of the protesters – in the former Soviet republics and Hong Kong – were advocating for more democratic rights. Under President Vladimir PutinAccording to observers, the rights of ordinary Russians have been severely eroded.

But the mob on the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday were seeking to annul legitimate elections.

The distinction has not prevented America’s critics from making a live comparison.

“This is an absolute gift to authoritarian leaders whose primary narrative is that democracies are weak and unstable,” said Matthew Harris, a senior researcher at the Royal United Services Institute, a think tank.

Pointing to the leader of China, he said, referring to the leader of China, while the Chinese Communist Party is “getting stability and growth.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, echoed that sentiment Thursday, calling Trump “a complete tool for Putin” and saying that by encouraging riots in the Capitol, the president had given his “biggest gifts” to the Russian president.

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A flag with “treason” written on the ground at dawn Thursday, after protesters stormed the US Capitol.Andrew Harnick / AP

Victor Zhao, who was a translator for the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, said the scenes in Washington were a lively reaction to those who wanted to implant American political values ​​elsewhere.

Regarding the one-party state, he said: “Our system has its own problems, but this particular system for China has been working for China for 45 years.” “China will never accept any attempt by the United States to impose its order on China because it is not working” on China’s behalf.

although President Donald Trump He has spoken warmly about Xi, and he has hit China with tariffs and penalties for what the US says is its restriction of Hong Kong’s autonomy and its human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims, both of which rival Beijing.

It was perhaps the most notable last attempt to export an American-style democracy Iraq, With institution building being one of the declared goals of the US-led invasion in 2003. After the events of Wednesday, a circulated note showed Iraqi tanks launching an invasion to “restore democracy to the United States.”

“It has been 20 years since George W. Bush tried to export American democracy as a model to the rest of the world, and these days this model is in deep crisis,” said Giovanni Orsina, director of the School of Government in Luis Guido. Carly University in Rome.

“After what we’ve seen, the idea that Americans can teach democracy to the rest of the world is much weaker,” he said. Making matters worse is the fact that there are no great alternative democracies out there – so America’s crisis reflects a democratic crisis in the world.

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The front pages of the Italian newspapers Thursday. Andrew Medicini / AP

The feeling of a shared crisis was evident in the warning remarks of many European leaders. The United States is not the only country to grapple with the populist right, fueled by disinformation online conspiracy theories.

“Incitement words turn into violence – on the steps of the Reichstag Building, and now on the Capitol,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas wrote on Twitter, referring to the attempt by anti-lockdown protesters against the Coronavirus to storm the German parliament in August. “Contempt for democratic institutions is devastating.”

A few years after Trump, few European leaders were filling themselves in that winning Biden meant they could get back to how it was. There are moves led by the French president Emmanuel MacronFor example, to reduce dependence on Washington militarily.

However, this week’s events in Washington have shed light on the future of their relationship with the United States.

In Paris, Francois Heisburg, Senior Adviser for Europe at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said, “The outside world should assume that there is uncertainty, and a high degree of instability, about where the United States will be in the next few years.”

He said the European powers “should assume that the fate of the United States is uncertain.” “And if that is the case, then we must prepare for a world in which the United States is not the partner we used to be.”

Alexander Smith reported from London. Savor Smith from Bristol, England; Claudio Lavanga from Rome; Nancy Eng from Paris; Andy Eckhardt from Mainz, Germany; Tatyana Chestikova from Moscow; And Dawn Liu from Beijing.

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