For American opponents, there is no better proof of the fallacy of Western democracy than the sight of the U.S. Capitol in smoke and surrounded by mobs whipped by their unwilling president to leave office.
China, Iran, and Russia have pointed to the turmoil in Washington as evidence that the much-touted American government system is fundamentally flawed and full of hypocrisy.
There are also serious concerns throughout Europe. Not only is it swaying its powerful transatlantic ally in division and instability, but it also means that President-elect Joe Biden’s relationship with Washington opens two weeks later.
Many people question how the United States can again teach other countries democratic values, or how to tell other countries that its internal stability is not enough to possess nuclear weapons.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a live televised speech on Friday: “Now, you are seeing the situation in the United States.”
Amnesty International stated that when Iran criticized Iran, its Tehran government suppressed the freedom of speech and assembly of its own people, and its security forces used lethal force to suppress protests, killing hundreds of people and arbitrarily detaining thousands. London.
In China and Russia, officials asked why American lawmakers supported democratic protesters in other parts of the world so quickly while turbulent in their own streets.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a Thursday briefing: “You may all remember what some American officials, legislators and some media said about Hong Kong at that time.” “What do they say to the United States now?”
Hong Kong police arrested more than 50 democrats on Wednesday for violating the strict new national security law. Biden’s candidate for secretary of state Anthony Brinken said on Twitter this week that the new government will “stand with the people of Hong Kong and oppose Beijing’s suppression of democracy”.
Download the NBC News app to learn about major news and political news
In Russia, Leonid Slutsky, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons, told the official media: “As we have seen, the boomerang of the “color revolution” is returning to the United States. It was the West in the 2000s. An approved democratic uprising in the former Soviet Republic.
Many people pointed out that many demonstrators in the former Soviet Republic and Hong Kong advocated for more democratic rights. Monitors say that under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin, the rights of ordinary Russians have been severely eroded.
However, a mob in the US Capitol on Wednesday is trying to overturn the legal election.
This distinction has not prevented American critics from making vivid comparisons.
Matthew Harries, a senior researcher at the think tank Royal United Services Institute in Berlin, said: “This is definitely a gift from authoritarian leaders. Their main narrative is that the democratic system is weak and unstable. “
He was referring to the Chinese leader, he said: “People like Xi Jinping will say: Look, these people cannot control Covid-19, or even protect their legislature.” Stability and growth. “
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi (Daniel D. Calif) reiterated this view on Thursday, calling Trump “Putin’s complete tool” and said that by encouraging congressional riots, the president gave the Russian president “he The biggest gift of all gifts”.
Victor Gao, a translator for China’s late and most important leader Deng Xiaoping, said that the scene in Washington is a vivid reflection of those who wish to transplant American political values elsewhere.
When talking about a one-party state, he said: “Our system has its own problems, but this system that applies to China has been operating in China for the past 45 years.” “China will never accept the United States’ Any attempt by the system to impose on China because it does not work”.
Although President Donald Trump gave an enthusiastic speech on Xi Jinping, he also imposed tariffs and sanctions on China because the United States said it was a restriction on Hong Kong’s autonomy and human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims. Contending with it.
Perhaps the most compelling attempt to export American-style democracy recently was in Iraq. Institutional building was one of the established goals of the 2003 US-led invasion. After the events on Wednesday, circulated memes indicated that Iraqi tanks had launched an invasion. Bring democracy back to the United States. “
Giovanni Orsina, Dean of the School of Government of Luiss Guido, said: “George W. Bush tried to use American democracy as an example for other countries in the world. For 20 years, this model is now in a serious crisis.” University of Rome Cali.
He said: “Based on our observations, the idea that Americans can teach democracy to the rest of the world is much weaker.” “And to make the situation worse, there are no great alternative democracies. Therefore, the crisis in the United States reflects The world’s democratic crisis.”
The shocked statements of several European leaders clearly showed the sense of common crisis. Driven by online disinformation conspiracy theories, the United States is far from the only country that is fighting for populist rights.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted: “On the steps of the Reichstag, and even now in the Reichstag, inflammatory speech turned into violence.” He was referring to the anti-coronavirus blockade of protesters. Attempt to rush into the German parliament in August. “Contempt for democracy is devastating.”
After Trump suffered years of setbacks, few European leaders deceived themselves to believe that Biden’s victory meant they could return to their original state. For example, French President Emmanuel Macron (Emmanuel Macron) took the lead in taking some actions to reduce military dependence on Washington.
However, events in Washington this week brought the future of their relationship with the United States into the center of attention.
François Heisbourg, senior European consultant of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said in Paris: “The outside world must assume that the situation in the United States in the next few years will be full of uncertainty and high instability.”
He said that European powers “must assume that the fate of the United States is uncertain.” “If this is the case, we must prepare for a world where the United States is no longer the partner we had in the past.”
Reporting by Alexander Smith from London; Saphora Smith from Bristol, England; Claudio Lavanga from Rome; Nancy Ing from Paris; Andy Eckardt from Mainz, Germany; Tatyana Chistikova from Moscow; and Liu Liming from Beijing