To Chinese bloggers, the US government shutdown is something to envy

Order to some, anarchy to others.
Order to some, anarchy to others.
Image: Reuters/Jason Reed
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In the US, the country’s government shutdown is spurring a lot of anxiety about how well the state functions (paywall). In China, some bloggers on the microblogging site Sina Weibo hold a different view: A peaceful government shutdown represents rule of law and a balanced political system.

For Chinese onlookers, the US shutdown appears to be the latest point of comparison between the American and Chinese systems of governance, which has especially captured the minds of Chinese netizens amid China’s own leadership transition and recent crackdown on government corruption.

The subject “US government shutdown” was one of the top trending topics for much of yesterday, Oct. 2, according to Liz Carter, a Chinese social media watcher at Tea Leaf Nation. Carter culled from more than 200,000 comments on the topic from users. One blogger said, ”A government that can shut down….is a good thing. It shows that power can be checked and the government can’t spend money however it wants.” Another Weibo user observed that the shutdown, the result of fighting between two political parties, could never happen in China where one party dominates. “China isn’t like that. The government runs extremely smoothly; no need to worry it might shut down. In this way, I envy the US.”