A China poll conducted by the state-run newspaper Global Times for March 2016, showed that 54 percent of Chinese would vote in favor of United States presidential candidate Donald Trump if they could. The number was drawn by huanqiu.com, the Chinese website for the periodical, based on the opinions of 3,300 respondents.
According to Global Times, the China-based poll conducted by huanqiu for the newspaper’s Chinese edition shows that 1,800 voters or 54 percent of those polled, cast ballots in favor of the U.S. billionaire, while 1,530 netizens voted against him. Trump’s popularity gain in this part of the word is an indication of Chinese Net users, as well as followers of Sina Weibo accounts like “Trump fan club” and “Great man Donald Trump,” increasing in numbers.
Clinton’s tough stance toward China has reportedly influenced the poll respondents to favor Trump. International Studies Dean Jia Qingguo of Peking University said Clinton is paying the price of criticizing China on cyber security and human rights.
According to The Daily Beast, China’s press and state media have written favorably about the American billionaire’s geopolitical views. Like the poll respondents, pro-Beijing writers have looked past Trump’s rhetoric about a trade war with China. Instead, they see his flexibility on U.S. alliances in Asia as a strategic opportunity for China.
Though the real estate magnate has been known to bash China on the campaign trail, the poll echoes the same pro-Trump sentiment held by the Chinese government. Global Times, an official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, titled its March story on Trump: “Trump is not a lunatic.” The article described him as a “shrewd businessman” with his finger on the political pulse of his countrymen.
A CNN report used the Internet like the China poll did, to learn what netizens have to say of the presumptive GOP nominee. Several of these online users have formed small groups on the Chinese social media site Weibo, with names such as “Donald J Trump Superfans Nation.”
Not to be outdone by the China poll survey, Chinese social media users joined in the discussion of the U.S. presidential race. One participant stressed the contrast between Clinton and Trump.
“Hillary Clinton just makes empty promises, while Trump is the King of doing what he says.”
Another netizen referred to the China poll’s subject as “honest, sharp, pragmatic, and stylish.” One person playing along with the hypothetical scenario of mainland Chinese participating in the U.S. election said they would vote for Trump because he is “so handsome.”
CNN suggested that television’s Sima Nan, China’s version of Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly, may have influenced the poll by routinely referring to Hillary Clinton as a “crazy old woman” when talking about Trump-dominated American politics.
According to New York Times, the GOP presumptive nominee has had a China following since The Apprentice, when he hosted the reality television show way before the time of the poll. Thirty-one-year-old building technician Sun Jianguo said in an interview that he got interested in American politics from watching Trump on reality T.V.
Sun added that he liked the Muslim remarks attributed to the man featured in the China poll. Trump’s critical comments about Muslims resonated with Sun’s own view of the Muslim presence in his home province of Hebei, which was, “they can be bossy sometimes.”
Tan Zhenxing, 29, another fan club follower remarking on the China poll, said that Trump could be the strong leader the United States needs to remain at the forefront of world affairs. Tan invoked the domino effect to illustrate his point
“If America fails. Europe will fail, and then China will fail.”
Meanwhile, Los Angeles Times noted a growing phenomenon on the American side of the globe, bringing to mind the mainland Chinese statements for the China poll. A contingent of Chinese-American Trump supporters including one Ling Zeng got celebrity treatment at a Donald Trump rally on May 25, in Anaheim, California.
Zeng and her friends, sporting T-shirts that read, “Chinese Americans love Trump” got invited to stand directly behind the China poll’s favored candidate on the podium. Trump cried out as he shook Zeng’s hand.
“Look at this, Chinese Americans!”
Like Chinese immigrant Zeng, many of Trump’s Chinese American supporters are recent arrivals from mainland China of a certain mindset somewhat apart from that of comparatively laid-back Americans. A near-suicidal work ethic, a reverence for wealth as the just reward, and a belief in the rightness of U.S. immigration laws are part of their package, like the respondents to the China poll on Trump.
These new arrivals are baffled by affirmative action on U.S. college campuses, where advantage is determined by ethnic and racial grouping rather than by merit. Drilled on scholastic excellence during their formative years, these new immigrants, like the China poll respondents, are products of a culture that has created the smartest kids in the world, including Trump’s America.
China’s poll respondents come from a school system ranked high by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). According to BBC, of the 76 countries ranked, based on students’ math and science test scores, the upper half is largely dominated by Asian nations. The top five smartest countries are Singapore, Hong Kong (China), South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan. The United States which Donald Trump is trying to make great again, comes in at No. 28.
That a China poll would favor Trump for president is food for thought.
[Photo by AP Pool]