The biggest threat to Western democracy comes from within, not China, said an article published by the Vox news site this week.
Blaming China for the reason why Western democracy is currently under threat is "not only wrong, but potentially dangerous," said the article.
One of the emerging tenets of U.S. President Joe Biden's administration is that the United States and China are locked in ideological confrontation over the fate of democracy, it said.
However, "much of the recent global democratic backsliding has little to do with China," Thomas Carothers and Frances Brown, two leading experts on democracy, wrote in a recent Foreign Affairs essay. "An overriding focus on countering China and Russia risks crowding out policies to address the many other factors fueling democracy's global decline."
Positioning China as the source of democratic erosion across the globe will do little to advance the democratic cause, said Zack Beauchamp, author of the report published on Wednesday, noting that democracies are "rotting from within, not without."
In countries where democracy is at real risk, far-right parties are taking advantage of ethno-religious divides and public distrust in the political establishment to win electorally, said Beauchamp, a global politics and ideology correspondent for Vox.