China’s one-party media borrows from American free media: U.S. democracy is losing shine
China’s party-state-controlled media follows closely what is going on in the U.S., the negative or problematic side of things mostly, from gun violence to long covid to inflation, etc. Now it is 2022 mid-term elections, which, along with presidential elections in the U.S., are seen in China as money-driven exercises of interest groups. As with other aspects of the American society, the Chinese media has been finding, selecting, broadcasting, and misrepresenting writings and views of Americans critical of U.S. democracy. The irony is that China’s one-party just extended its one-man rule without any term limit or election.
On Oct. 17, Foreign Affairs published an article titled “The Decline of the City Upon a Hill - As American Democracy Loses Its Shine, American Power Suffers.” It mentioned how the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked the U.S. 26th, between Chile and Estonia, in its most recent Democracy Index, and how Freedom House ranked the U.S. below Argentina and Mongolia in terms of political rights and civil liberties. China Daily followed up on Oct. 20 with its piece titled “As US democracy loses its shine, American power suffers: Foreign Affairs.” It simply reprinted passages from the Foreign Affairs article, without any of its own work.
On Oct. 19, AP ran a piece titled “Many remain critical of state of US democracy: AP-NORC poll.” It talked about how according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, only about half of Americans had high confidence that votes in the midterm elections would be counted accurately, and just 9% of U.S. adults thought democracy was working extremely or very well. China Daily again followed suit with a piece titled “American public: American style democracy going from bad to worse and disappointing.” It quoted data from the AP-NORC poll and a voter in an interview, “Everybody is in their own corner, without anything in common. Democrats and Republicans can’t even agree on facts.”
On Oct. 21, the Washington Post had this story, “Slavery is still allowed in U.S. prisons. Now it’s on the ballot in 5 states.” It said the five states, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Oregon, and Vermont, would vote this November whether to remove language in their state constitutions allowing slavery, abolished more than 150 years ago, as punishment in prisons. People’s Daily Overseas Edition picked it up on Oct. 24 with its translation piece titled “American states prisons still practice forced labor. Experts: African Americans are more vulnerable to oppression.”
On Oct. 23, Newsweek wrote about a recent NBC News poll in this piece titled “Poll: 80 Percent Of Americans Think Opposing Party Will Destroy Country” and how those Americans believed that their opposing political party posed a threat to the country. It also quoted Dillard University Professor Dr. Robert Collins that this election "is being driven by fear rather than optimism.” Next day, People’s Daily Overseas Edition quickly posted a similar piece with a little tweak in the title “American poll: Over 80% Americans believe partisan fight would destroy the country.” It was a translation of several paragraphs of the Newsweek original.
On Oct. 25, NPR posted a news brief titled “In the U.S., some 4.6 million people are disenfranchised due to a felony conviction.” It was about a report titled “LOCKED OUT 2022: ESTIMATES OF PEOPLE DENIED VOTING RIGHTS DUE TO A FELONY CONVICTION” by the nonprofit organization The Sentencing Project. The report found that due to laws in 48 states that banned people with felony convictions from voting, an estimated 4.6 million Americans, 2% of the voting population, would not be able to vote in 2022. On Oct. 27, People’s Daily Overseas Edition published its interpretation with a misleading title “U.S. media: Over 4.6 million American voters deprived of voting rights. American government is restricting people’s right to vote.” It quoted data from The Sentencing Project, but it never mentioned felony conviction.