01/08/2021, 15.23
ASIA – UNITED STATES
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Capitol attack badly damages the image of the US

China and other hostile powers see the incident as a sign of the decline of US democracy. Hong Kong's pro-democracy activists are not the equivalent of Trump supporters. Dictatorships come out strengthened. About 70 per cent of Americans slams the Capitol attack.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – The group of supporters of President Donald Trump who attacked the US Congress building on Wednesday have damaged the international image of the United States.

In several Asian countries, many believe that the United States can no longer affect the choices of other countries since it is unable to solve its own internal problems. The US inability to contain the coronavirus pandemic has reinforced this view.

China took the opportunity to criticise US politics and society. According to state television CCTV, the action of Trump supporters “destroyed the last shreds of American-style democracy”.

After the attacks by the state-owned Global Times, China’s Foreign Ministry reiterated the accusation that US media and institutions apply “double standard” when faced with popular protests.

Chinese authorities point out that while pro-Trump protesters are considered “terrorist attackers”, Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters are seen as “freedom fighters”.

Anti-establishment activists in the former British colony replied that the two protests are not comparable.

The protesters who stormed Hong Kong’s Legislative Council two years ago demanded more democracy, not the upending of a properly conducted election, certified by the competent authorities and accepted by most people.

Nevertheless, Beijing’s line is echoed among US rivals. The chairman of the Russian upper house foreign affairs committee, Konstantin Kosachev, said the storming marked the derailment of US democracy, citing the "impersonal political platforms of Democrats and Republicans" as reasons behind the unrest.

In a televised speech, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that US democracy is fragile and vulnerable to populism.

Raoof Hasan, special assistant to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, told the Voice of America that the assault on Capitol Hill shows that the US does not have the moral legitimacy to judge the level of democracy in other countries.

For their part, Washington’s Asian partners are baffled by the Washington events.

In a post on Facebook, a lawmaker with South Korea’s ruling Democratic Party noted that the main effect of what happened is to strengthen dictatorships, which now have one more reasons – the alleged decay of democratic systems – to justify their power.

Thailand, a US ally, is an example. For months, the country has been shaken by protests calling for the removal of the current authoritarian regime.

Now, some pro-establishment politicians mockingly wonder if the US is “the model of democracy they are trying to force upon people around the world to follow.”

Conversely in Israel, Gideon Saar, leader of the right-wing New Hope party that will challenge the ruling Likud party in the upcoming March election, stressed the dangers of polarisation and extremism in society.

Still, the US seems to have the resources to react. According to an Ipsos poll, 70 per cent of Americans condemn the attack on Congress whilst 74 per cent want the attackers arrested.

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