TOKYO (AP) — Amid the global outrage at the storming of the U.S. Capitol building by angry supporters of President Donald Trump was a persistent strain of glee from those who have long resented the perceived American tendency to chastise other countries for less-than-perfect adherence to democratic ideals. 

The teargas and bullets inside the Capitol, a globally recognized structure that stands at the center of America’s idea of democracy, are more usually associated with countries where popular uprisings topple a hated dictator. The Arab Spring, for instance.

This time, however, it was an attempt by Americans to stop a peaceful transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden after a democratic election in a country that many around the world have looked at as a model for democratic governance.“We must call this out for what it is: a deliberate assault on Democracy by a sitting President & his supporters, attempting to overturn a free & fair election! The world is watching! ” Irish Foreign and Defense Minister Simon Coveney said on Twitter, representing a tone of outrage that many world leaders took.

Some global observers, though, seemed to be reveling in the burst of violence that marked the closing days of a presidency that has divided opinion abroad almost as strongly as it has in America.

In China, which has had constant friction with the Trump administration over trade, military and political issues, people were scathing in their criticism of Trump and his supporters, citing both his failure to control the coronavirus pandemic and the mob action in Washington.

Communist-ruled China has long accused the U.S. of hypocrisy in its efforts to promote democracy and advocate for human rights overseas.

The Communist Youth League ran a photo montage of the violence at the Capitol on its Twitter-like Weibo microblog with the caption: “On the sixth, the U.S. Congress, a most beautiful site to behold.” That appeared to mock House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her June 2019 comments in praise of sometimes violent antigovernment protests in Hong Kong. 

“The U.S. is not as safe as China, right? I think Trump is a self-righteous and selfish person,” said financial adviser Yang Ming.

Some watching from abroad held Trump responsible for the chaos, and there was a widespread condemnation that seemed nurtured by the U.S. president’s often antagonistic relationship with countries around the world. That was especially true by those who have been at the sharp end of American military muscle and punitive sanctions.

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