Saturday, September 06, 2008

What They Said...

"China watches U.S. elections with bemusement"
"A lot of people think Western-style democracy is a joke -- it's more like a pop idol contest or a beauty pageant," said Pan Xiaoli, an anchorwoman for International Channel Shanghai, an English-language TV station. "I think the Chinese watch with a sense of inherent superiority, saying, 'This is not the way for us.' "...

..."People think the capitalist way of campaigning is all about making up fake stories to slander your opponent, that it's just a political show," Shen said.

Another reason for the negativity is that many Chinese don't like either candidate.

Perhaps from nostalgia for her husband, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton had been the clear favorite here.

Sen. Barack Obama has alienated some Chinese by criticizing Chinese-made products. And Sen. John McCain infuriated many more by meeting with the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader who is reviled by the Chinese government.

"For ordinary Chinese observers, it is hard for them to differentiate between the platforms or understand the anxieties. They've seen it mostly as a competition between a woman, a black man and an old man," said Wang Jisi, dean of the School of International Studies at Peking University, speaking at a seminar of journalists this week in Seoul.

DISCLAIMER: Yes, there are genuine differences between the candidates. Yes, it matters who wins. I'm just in a very cranky mood about the whole thing.

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