January 21, 2018 / 3:35 AM / 4 months ago

Chinese state media: U.S. government shutdown exposes 'chronic flaws'

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s official news agency said in a commentary on Sunday that the shutdown of the U.S. government exposed “chronic flaws” in the U.S. political system.

A Senate staffer places a sign blaming U.S. President Donald Trump for shutdown of the Federal Government before a news conference with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Funding for federal agencies ran out at midnight on Friday in Washington after lawmakers failed to agree on a stopgap funding bill.

“What’s so ironic is that it came on the first anniversary of Donald Trump’s presidency on Saturday, a slap in the face for the leadership in Washington,” China’s Xinhua News Agency said in a commentary by Xinhua writer Liu Chang.

The commentary said that the Trump administration had “backtracked” on policies supported by his predecessor, Barack Obama, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and U.S. participation in the Paris climate agreement.

“If there was any legacy that has survived the transfer of power, it was the spirit of non-cooperation across party lines,” the Xinhua commentary said.

While Xinhua commentaries are not official statements, they offer a reflection of Beijing’s thinking.

“The Western democratic system is hailed by the developed world as near perfect and the most superior political system to run a country,” it said.

“However, what’s happening in the United States today will make more people worldwide reflect on the viability and legitimacy of such a chaotic political system,” it said.

At a twice-a-decade congress of China’s ruling Communist Party in October, President Xi Jinping was anointed for a second term as party chief, strengthening his grip on power.

Reporting by Tony Munroe; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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