When a communist nation that once killed as many as 10,000 of its own protesting citizens in a single uprising mocks your government, you've got a problem.
In 1989, Chinese troops with automatic rifles and tanks killed upwards of 1,000 demonstrators at Tiananmen Square. Estimates of the death toll run as high 10,454, according to the superb book "Red China Blues: My Long March from Mao to Now," written by Chinese-Canadian journalist Jan Wong.
Yet the Chinese government thinks it's in the position to criticize the U.S. government. On Sunday, a writer at China's official news agency mocked the U.S. government shutdown, saying it exposed "chronic flaws" in the political system.
"Washington loves to brand itself as a 'shining city on the hill,' yet the latest government shutdown in the heart of Western democracy has once again exposed its chronic flaws," wrote Liu Chang of Xinhua News Agency.
"What's so ironic is that it came on the first anniversary of Donald Trump's presidency on Saturday, a slap in the face for the leadership in Washington," he said.
Chang wrote in the commentary that the Trump administration has "backtracked" on some of Barack Obama's policies, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact and the Paris climate accord. "If there was any legacy that has survived the transfer of power, it was the spirit of non-cooperation across party lines," the Xinhua commentary said.
Although the source of the criticism has no right to be preaching to America, a true beacon of freedom, the commentary did make some relevant points.
The U.S. federal government was shut down when the Obama administration and the Republicans in Congress were locked in a battle on Obama's healthcare plan in 2013.
Now that another lockdown is underway again, the two major political parties are as usual busy accusing each other of not doing their job.
Thanks to their unrelenting rivalry, many of America's long-standing problems remain unresolved.
Well, that's sure spot on. Maybe this, too:
The Western democratic system is hailed by the developed world as near perfect and the most superior political system to run a country.
However, what's happening in the United States today will make more people worldwide reflect on the viability and legitimacy of such a chaotic political system.
And China's take on what Americans want is also pretty accurate.
After all, for most people, the most important criterion for an effective political system is how it helps to resolve their problems, not telling them whom to blame.
However you slice it — whether you're #TrumpShutdown or #SchumerShutdown — the closure of the federal government for the fourth time in 25 years is embarrassing. And even China sees it.