Despite his constant threats to label China a currency manipulator last summer and endless complaints about the U.S. trade deficit with the manufacturing giant, President Trump is apparently a legend in China. As Reuters notes this morning, Trump is expected to receive a hero's welcome tomorrow when he arrives in Beijing from adoring Chinese fans who admire that "he loves things splendid and magnificent" and that he "loves to show off."
On platforms such as the Twitter-like Sina Weibo, Trump’s Chinese supporters, who admire his business success and a free-wheeling style unconstrained by political correctness, are far more prominent than detractors.
While no comprehensive survey has been done to assess the size and intensity of Trump’s popularity in China, several pundits suggest he has broad and vocal support.
“Chinese people are impressed that he is extremely rich, he loves things splendid and magnificent, and he loves to show off. Not every billionaire is like that."
But the Chinese apparently love Trump for more than just his open willingness to flaunt his wealth, they, like many Americans who threw their support behind the unconventional candidate last year, also have an affinity for his lack of political correctness which they consider "elitist and unrealistic."
Trump’s popularity in China largely comes from his disdain for political correctness and defiance of traditional liberal western views, which many Chinese consider elitist and unrealistic, Chen said.
"In China, realists hold a deep-rooted belief that the rule of the jungle means the strong prey on the weak,” Chen said. “For them, the world is not split into right and wrong, good or evil, it is only success or failure, the powerful and the weak.”
“Rather than being a president, Trump is more like a comedian!” one Weibo user wrote.
Yin Hao, who translates American news and comedy clips for his nearly one million followers on Weibo, says that Trump's social media fans in China are "seriously and truly invested" in defending him...though we're sure they're all paid Kremlim operatives.
Yin said his translated Trump-related video clips sometimes attract thousands of comments, where some supporters engage in name-calling and invective in defending the president.
”They will keep posting comments to defend Trump, mock his opponents under all news clips that involve Trump, and rebuke any comments that are not in favor of Trump,” Yin said.
Chen Jibing, a Shanghai-based political commentator, said Trump’s Chinese fan base is different than that for previous foreign leaders such as his predecessor, Barack Obama, and for British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who enjoyed widespread but tepid support.
“Chinese Trump fans are seriously and truly invested, and you had better not make light of offending them,” Chen wrote in a social media post to his millions of followers.
Meanwhile, Ivanka Trump is also somewhat adored having earned the moniker of "goddess" on Chinese social media...
Ivanka Trump is sometimes referred to as “goddess” on Chinese social media, where some were upset that the first daughter would not be accompanying her father to Beijing.
“SAD! Ivanka is not coming to China,” said Jiang Xiaofeng, a journalist with Phoenix TV on Sina Weibo, appropriating one of Donald Trump’s favorite Twitter exclamations.
...of course, Ivanka doesn't flaunt her wealth nearly as well as her father and maintains some level of political correctness in public speeches so it's unclear what they see in her...