- The WSJ’s China Journal tells us of a mock election in Beijing designed to teach the Chinese about U.S. democracy:
As the results came in across the U.S., another unofficial contest was taking place in Beijing. There, more than 1,000 Chinese and Americans crowded a hotel ballroom to watch the results and cast their ballots. The event, sponsored by the U.S. Embassy and the American Chamber of Commerce, was designed to pattern the U.S. election and teach the uninitiated about how U.S. elections are run.
Many Chinese did not follow the American election closely. But political observers say there was little doubt that Obama has captured the imagination and support of young Chinese, particularly those who are studying English and the political systems of other countries.
- Fons Tuinstra of the China Herald asks what Obama will mean for China:
The election of Barack Obama as the new president for the United States has already triggered off some concern that he will follow a more protectionist track. Incoming US presidents typically use their first six months to discover scolding China is not bringing them any further, like Bill Clinton discovered the hard way.
But unlike Bill Clinton, Obama has hardly mentioned China in his campaign and I agree with Paul Woodward that a similar protectionist line is now highly unlikely. But for other reasons, Woodward suggests that Chinese companies might focus more on China itself:
- Adam Minter of Shanghai Scrap describes his experience joining 300 Americans at Malone’s:
For reasons that weren’t entirely clear to me, the drapes were closed, and so – despite the fact that the returns started coming in at 8 AM – the three levels must have resembled the evening election parties being held back home, in the Midwest.
The emotions that my friends in the US have written to tell me about, were quite evident in Shanghai, too. Between the whoops and the hollers, there were few – very few – dry eyes. The only difference, and it’s not a small one, is the fact that this party took place in Shanghai, China. I suppose one could look at that in a negative sense (”a large, raucous election party in Communist China”). But I prefer to see the bright side of these things, and I say: a large, raucous election party in China! Heck, there’s more police around on an average Friday night … and I didn’t see any, at all, this morning.
- Michael Manning of The Opposite End of China receives a congratulatory note from a Chinese colleague whose admiration for U.S. democracy and comparisons with the Chinese system we think mirror what young urban Chinese are thinking:
Congratulations on Obama’s successful run for president!! I have been constantly amazed as I follow the elections along the way. What an achievement it truly is… no doubt he’ll help restore America’s image around the world.
At the same time I can’t stop comparing. I can’t envision a ethnic Tibetan, Uygur, Hui, or Mogol [sic] gets elected President of China, not in 60 years… that’s how far apart the two countries are, in terms of maturity in political institutions.
- Sky Canaves gives a great overview of how the U.S. election results have been covered in the Chinese media, while the China Beat tells us about Chinese reactions as covered by international media.
Picture from PhilDragoo: Obama was frequently painted as a socialist and Marxist by the McCain-Palin ticket