We spend a lot of time talking about China: its intentions, its crimes, its treatment of dogs. We’ve got pretty clear views on the Chinese government. Polls show most Americans do.
But here’s a question we rarely ask: What do the Chinese think of us? Most of the time, we have no real idea. China’s on the other side of the world, and its leaders are cagey enough to keep their opinions to themselves most of the time. But occasionally, we get a glimpse of what they really think. We did this week, when our new secretary of state flew to Alaska to meet with his counterpart, China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi. It was a fascinating exchange. Here, for starters, is the Chinese government’s assessment of our democracy:
YANG JIECHI [TRANSLATION]: Many people within the United States actually have little confidence in the democracy of the United States, and they have various views regarding the government of the United States.
Many Americans don’t have confidence in their own democracy, he said. In other words, maybe the last presidential election was fraudulent. Suddenly China’s top diplomat sounded a lot like one of those right-wing White supremacist insurrectionists you’re always hearing about on CNN, the ones the Biden Justice Department has put in prison. But Yang wasn’t done. Next, he attacked the Biden administration for its silly neocon foreign policy: