Tue, Nov 06, 2012 - Page 7 News List

US election fascinates Chinese; some envy voters

AP, BEIJING

“The two sides are very confrontational and uncompromising,” he said. “It would be better off if they can soften a bit, like the Chinese do.”

Others see the US system as clearly superior.

“I admire the voting rights protected by the US Constitution. I pay attention to the fairness and seriousness in the election procedure,” said Li Youli, a retired manager in a commerce regulatory agency in Beijing who learned about US elections through an English language class.

“China’s political system is so backward that it should implement one thing first: to unconditionally ensure the basic political right for citizens in a republic: the voting rights,” he said.

Admiration for the US political system does not necessarily extend to the US itself. US-China relations have been buffeted by tiffs over trade, nuclear proliferation and global hotspots like Syria and Iran. Romney has promised to label China a currency manipulator if elected, a step that could lead to a potential trade war.

Many Chinese resent what they see as scolding by US presidents, politicians and media about China’s human rights lapses and its authoritarian system.

A Pew Global Attitudes Project survey released last month found that nearly half of Chinese have a negative view of the US. Still, the survey registered a small increase among Chinese who like the US’ democracy, up to 52 percent, from 48 percent in 2007.

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