US political drama tells much about us

( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-02-24 03:30:28

US political drama tells much about us

Officers from the Beijing Armed Police Corps undergo training on Friday. The officers will be responsible for security operations during the upcoming CPC and CPPCC sessions. LI GUANGYIN / FOR CHINA DAILY

US political drama tells much about us
TV drama rattles notions about US politics
US political drama tells much about us
Rendezvous with power
Much has been said and written about House of Cards — the US political drama that everybody seems to be talking about in Beijing — except what can be learned from the hit show.

Some attribute its success on the Chinese Web to a gripping storyline that offers a glimpse into US politics. Some compare it to popular Chinese palace dramas spiced up with plotting, back-stabbing, murder and romance. Others believe the Chinese elements in the drama have helped it win over the Chinese market. Few have seen its relevance to the present Chinese reality, and even fewer have acknowledged what the drama has told us about ourselves.

But let's face it: The dramatized wheeling and dealing of US congressmen has striking similarities with the many exposed Chinese scandals involving "tigers", or high-ranking officials, who usually also hold seats at legislative bodies at various levels. The Machiavellian characters remind us of corrupt local officials who climb the ladder by whatever means available, including intricate maneuvering to outdo rivals. For the US politicians' collaboration with business interests, just think of the Chinese government's moves to fight corruption in the oil and gas industry, which has brought down a string of officials in high places.

Chinese audiences can also recognize the sexual exploits of US politicians. As nearly all fallen corrupt officials have been found to have mistresses, Chinese anti-graft authorities use different labels to publicly denounce their promiscuous lifestyles, from "corrupt" to "rotten", which indicate the increasing numbers of their sexual conquests.

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