Chinese State-Run Media Attempt to Smear US Democracy During Biden Summit: Experts

By Alex Wu
Alex Wu
Alex Wu
Alex Wu is a U.S.-based writer for The Epoch Times focusing on Chinese society, Chinese culture, human rights, and international relations.
December 15, 2021 Updated: December 15, 2021

As U.S. President Joe Biden hosted the Summit for Democracy last week, Chinese state-run CGTN broadcast a two-episode program attacking American democracy.

The documentary-style program “U.S. Democracy: A Reality Check” was broadcast on CGTN’s English language channel on Dec. 9- 10, and on the media’s official website. CGTN Spanish, French, Arabic, and Russian channels will reportedly also broadcast the two episodes online.

The episodes criticized U.S. democracy saying it was dominated by money politics and that the country had wealth inequality and police brutality issues. The program also accused Washington of forcing its version of democracy upon others while dividing the world into two opposing camps. The program further claimed that U.S. policies have resulted in multinational humanitarian disasters.

Political pundits have said the CGTN program was targeting the summit that more than 100 nations—excluding China and Russia—participated virtually in on Dec. 9-10.

U.S.-based Chinese affairs commentator Tang Jingyuan pointed out that the Chinese regime’s program confuses the concept of democracy.

“The democratic system is just a form of political organization. It ensures that the source of this public right is generated by citizens’ elections,” Tang said. “Every citizen has an equal right to participate. It is essentially a public right,” he said.

“However, the widening gap between the rich and the poor, police brutality etc., these are issues about the proper implementation of government policies. It’s a different thing from the source of the government’s power.”

Epoch Times Photo
President Joe Biden delivers opening remarks for the virtual Summit for Democracy in the South Court Auditorium in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 9, 2021. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Tang then offered comparisons on the issues cited by CGTN and how they are dealt with in China by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

“We can see that the gap between the rich and the poor in mainland China is now the highest in the world. The types of brutality applied by CCP police, such as the use of torture, are too many to count,” he said.

“If you follow the CCP’s own logic, the CCP’s system is the most failing,” he said. “As to causing humanitarian disasters in other countries, we can see that the fundamental reason is not that the democratic system is not good …  it is because of many extreme forces, terrorist forces, undemocratic forces have caused the destruction of people’s rights.”

‘Stir up Chinese People’

Canada-based lawyer Lai Jianping said the purpose of the CGTN program was to discredit the American democratic system and manipulate public opinion so to further CCP control over the Chinese people.

“They try to stir up Chinese people to oppose universal values, and oppose the United States and the West, with the ultimate goal of defending the CCP’s dictatorship,” Lai said.

“Because human society is composed of human beings, after all, it is not a paradise on earth. Any society will have some dark sides.

“[The CCP] take out these so-called dark sides and exaggerate them so as to demonize democracy in the United States and the entire West, misleading and controlling Chinese people, so to create public opinion in China that supports their dictatorship. This is what it is about,” Lai said.

“The CCP mobilized its propaganda machine, used its mouthpiece to smear the American system and American democracy on a large scale.”

Three Principal Themes

The communist regime was also angry that Taiwan took part in the summit which was centered around three principal themes: “defending against authoritarianism”, “addressing and fighting corruption,” and “advancing respect for human rights.”

Taiwan “can make meaningful commitments” toward the three themes objectives, a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department told The Epoch Times in an email.

Epoch Times Photo
A video wall displaying participants in the White House’s Summit for Democracy stands in the South Court Auditorium in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 09, 2021. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Lai said the summit was a great way to unify the world’s democracies.

“From the standpoint of universal values, the future and destiny of mankind, the rivalry between of the civilized and the barbaric, the summit is a call for the battle against the CCP,” he said.

“It’s a major blow to the CCP. It also shows strong solidarity and support for a free and democratic Taiwan, and it is also a powerful deterrence to any attempt the CCP may make to invade Taiwan,” he said.

Washington and Taipei do not have formal diplomatic ties. However, the United States maintains a robust relationship with the island, and supplies military equipment to Taiwan for its self-defense under the Taiwan Relations Act. In October, President Biden said that the United States was obligated to defend Taiwan if the island was attacked by China.

Tang pointed out two things that he thought were significant about the summit.

“The first is that it is completely denying the legitimacy of the CCP in terms of ideology and it has isolated and formed a kind of encirclement around the CCP. It is also to ensure the leadership of the United States and the existing international order will not be subverted by the CCP,” Tang said.

“The second significance is that the Summit for Democracy forms a de facto alliance of nations on a global scale,” he said. “It can make up for the shortcomings of the UN in many ways. It can prevent the CCP’s infiltration and manipulation to the utmost extent.”

Another democracy summit—an in-person event—will be held in a year’s time.

Yi Ru and Frank Fang contributed to the report.

Alex Wu
Alex Wu is a U.S.-based writer for The Epoch Times focusing on Chinese society, Chinese culture, human rights, and international relations.