Perhaps the only people who have managed to find a silver lining in the ongoing U.S. government shutdown are Chinese intellectuals.
Of course, Americans view the impasse as a sign of political dysfunction. But to many Chinese commentators, it also reveals certain strengths. Since the shutdown began nine days ago, Chinese social media have been full of wistful, almost admiring remarks about how the shutdown could only happen in a democratic country with a resilient economy and responsive political representation.
(Read more: Six more weeks of shutdown? No problem, says pro)
"The government's closed — is this bad?" wrote Chen Zhiwu, a user on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo. "In the American system, arguments among Republicans and Democrats and the president are normal and should happen because levying taxes, incurring debts, and paying expenses involves the taxpayer's interests and their money. So, elected representatives and the president should not treat these things lightly. To take these matters seriously is their responsibility and duty."