This US general election has attracted the attention of many Chinese, mainly because they think the results will have some effect on China-US relations. In fact, all the world's countries care about the US election for their own interests. But their concerns are mostly futile.
It is worth noting that in the past, Chinese people cared about the US elections, the main reason being they envied how America could hold such democratic elections. Of course, there are Chinese who are still envious. But it must be said, any collective feeling of envy has long dissipated.
The mainstream view of today's Chinese people is that China and the US are two major countries under completely different conditions. They should each go their own way. Even if some people have admiration for the US elections, their admirations remain just that. They don't think China should follow suit.
Moreover, it must be said that part of Chinese society's views on the US election includes seeing its obvious drawbacks. Chinese people are aware of how it splits US society and how such division could endanger a big country with complex conditions like China. Americans play big in elections, but their cultural tradition has helped them contain the risk from worsening. However, it is hard to predict whether such restraint will function in the long run. This is part of many Chinese people's serious reflection of American-style elections.
The author is editor-in-chief of the Global Times.