United States President Donald Trump may not be the most beloved leader out there in many parts of the world (including in his own backyard), but in China, he is surprisingly held in very high esteem by his highly devoted admirers.
Chinese fans showed their affection to the Donald by giving him a warm welcome online when he arrived in Beijing on Wednesday, Business Insider reports. Trump’s popularity in China is mostly evident on local online platforms, where he is praised for his wealth, success in business and his usually unrestrained manner of speaking.
Since Trump’s Asian trip was announced earlier this year, Chinese social media users have long been anticipating the arrival of the American leader.
“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,” said social media influencer Yin Hao.
Yin, who translates American news and other entertainment videos for his one million Weibo followers, said clips featuring Trump attract thousands of comments. He noted that Trump fans would even engage in name-calling to defend the president from critics.
“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 added.
The New York Times reports that Trump’s Chinese fans affectionately refer to him as “Uncle Trump,” “Grand Commander” and “Donald the Strong.” One fan even wrote on social media, “Long live Emperor Trump!” following Trump’s visit to the Forbidden City on Wednesday with President Xi Jinping.
According to local Political pundit Chen Jibing, Trump’s Chinese fan base is unlike supporters for previous Presidents such as Barack Obama, who is more reserved with his opinions.
“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.
Chen further explained that many Chinese view Trump as a political outsider who defies traditional liberal western beliefs. They also respect him enough not to take Trump’s heavy criticism of the U.S. trade deficit with China, against them.
“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.” Even Trump’s gaffes and occasional errors are seen as “harmless mistakes” committed by a leader who “writes his own rules.”<“Rather than being a president, Trump is more like a comedian!” one netizen was quoted as saying.
Observers also note that the favorable perception of Trump is further bolstered by his children’s perceived success, especially in a country where the success of the children reflects greatly upon the parents.
“You can tell what parents are like through their children’s success. Trump’s five children are all excellent, it means he is a very successful father,” state-run China Education Daily posted on its social media account.
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