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China celebrates US Capitol Hill attack, world leaders stress need to uphold democratic values

As the unfolding of the ghastly attack inside Capitol Hill in Washington by outgoing US President Donald Trump’s supporters shocked the US and the rest of the world, a large section of the people in China celebrated the incident and called it ‘Karma’.

“Many Chinese netizens ‘confessed’ in their comments that they saw the ‘chaos in the US’ as revenge. After inciting so much chaos around the world under the pretext of ‘freedom and democracy,’ the US finally tasted the ‘karma’ of its double standards,” Chinese news platform Global Times noted.

“America is in ruinous decline because its government and economic system was forged into something rotten and was neglecting society in many ways,” China Daily quoted Mario Cavolo, an American writer living in China.

However, world leaders underlined the need to uphold the pillars of democracy. Trump’s own aide Vice President Mike Pence came out strongly against the rioters. “The violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol Must Stop and it Must Stop Now. Anyone involved must respect Law Enforcement officers and immediately leave the building,” Pence said in a tweet.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his tweet said, “Orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue. The democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests.”

Calling the incident “disgraceful” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted saying that “it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.”

<strong>Capital Hill incident shocking but does not defeat democracy</strong>

While China has reasons to believe that the Capitol Hill incident strengthens its own case of undermining democracy and promoting a single party system, experts said that though the unprecedented incident was shocking, it did not strangle democracy altogether.

Former ambassador Pinak Chakravarty said that though the incident was unexpected, democracies can be chaotic but need to be nurtured and upheld.

“These were incredible scenes and quite unexpected too but also underlined the desperate nature that Trump finds himself in. However, he hasn’t succeeded and it has now cleared the way for a change over. Though this is not a good advertisement for American democracy, all democracies are a bit chaotic at times, which countries like China would not understand,” Pinak Chakravarty, visiting fellow at ORF and a former ambassador said.

An analyst on condition of anonymity said that China does not allow dissent but the fact that Trump has agreed to a smooth transition showed that the voices of the people finally mattered. “China should not comment on democracy, something that the country has never experienced,” the analyst said.

“It is shocking and the lesson we learn is the democracy will always remain work in progress, it needs to be protected at all times,” Narendra Taneja, economist and an expert on energy security told IndiaNarrative.com.

However, Taneja said that the incident will only boost President-Elect Joe Biden’s support not just within his own country but the world across. “Typically Biden would have had to deal with the baggage of outgoing President Donald Trump but this incident will free him of that, he can start on a clean slate,” Taneja said, adding that China’s understanding of democracy is negligible.

Experts also said that Biden will have to deal with a polarised society which could pose a “big challenge”.