Russia calls for champagne, China hopes for the best

Russia calls for champagne, China hopes for the best, by Michael Sheridan.

The Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, was in full session when the news arrived on Wednesday morning. …

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the ultranationalist leader, immediately bought 132 bottles of champagne to celebrate in a raucous masculine style that seemed entirely ­appropriate for the occasion.

They were celebrating not simply the victory of Donald Trump, Moscow’s favourite for the White House, but the defeat of a powerful and longstanding political order.

Well before Trump launched his bid for the presidency, the ­writer Kenan Malik pointed out that the new political fault line in the West is no longer between left and right but “between an elite, technocratic managerialism gov­erning through structures that often bypass democratic pro­cesses, and a growing mass of ­people who feel alienated and ­politically voiceless”. …


In China, reaction was more subtle. Free elections in foreign countries present a problem to the Chinese government and media, since reporting on them may raise questions about why none take place among China’s 1.3 billion people. So while there was satisfaction at Clinton’s defeat, the Trump win got low-key treatment as Chinese leaders, aided by a ­legion of scholars in think tanks run by the Ministry of State Sec­urity and other trusted bodies, tried to work out what comes next.

hat-tip Stephen Neil