After Monday's second presidential debate, in which Republican nominee Donald Trump threatened to jail rival Hillary Clinton if he made it to the White House, state-run media outlet China Daily took the opportunity to expound on the perils of democracy.
An opinion piece by Zhang Zhixin, a specialist in American politics at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, described the "chaotic" election campaign as highlighting the "dysfunction of democracy."
"The 'email-gate' uncovered by the release of the Democratic National Committee emails stunned the world, and showed that the so-called fair selection of candidates was anything but," he wrote in reference to Wikileaks' release in July of emails that appeared to show the committee was biased against Sen. Bernie Sanders, who had been Clinton's closest competition for the Democratic nomination.
"Meanwhile, whether the outspoken and reckless real-estate mogul Donald Trump wins the race or not, he has irreversibly damaged US democracy already," Zhang added.
The opinion piece goes on to critique the personal attacks made by both camps on their rivals during the campaign, the ills of the de facto two-party electoral system and winner-takes-all primary voting system - which China Daily said made "extreme candidates" stand out - and how democracy had to eventually "yield to populism" with the GOP's nomination of Trump.
"The 2016 presidential election has made one thing clear, the U.S. needs political reform," Zhang concluded.