Chinese public glued to US election debate for entertainment

By Liu Xin Source:Global Times Published: 2016-10-20 23:03:39

US presidential debates have proven to be entertaining to the Chinese public, who have made tons of memes of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and edited funny videos on social media.

Some Chinese Web users used VPNs to watch the third presidential debate Thursday morning, Beijing time, held at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. A webpage hashtag "The Presidential Debate" on Sina Weibo was viewed 800 million times as of press time, and had 339,000 posts.

"Chinese Net users have shown greater interest in this year's presidential election.  That's because Clinton could be the first female US president, while Trump is unpopular within his own party. Moreover, they face numerous scandals," Liu Weidong, a research fellow at the Institute of American Studies of the China Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Liu said it shows Chinese people care more about burning international issues to get a sense of the future of Sino-US relations. Some Chinese favor Trump over Clinton since he once praised China.  But a more aggressive and tougher policy towards China will be adopted by the US government no matter who wins, said Liu.

Unlike the US public who may feel strongly about the candidates' views on immigration, gun control and medical care, most Chinese netizens watched the debate for kicks, as such scenes are foreign to a country with a different political system.

Photo: qq.com Graphic: GT

Photo: qq.com Graphic: GT


 
In one of the videos uploaded on Sina Weibo, netizens edited scenes from the debate to make it appear like the candidates were looking deeply at each other while singing a Chinese song in the antiphonal style.

Photo: guancha.cn Graphic: GT

Photo: guancha.cn Graphic: GT

Photo: 163.com Graphic: GT

Photo: 163.com Graphic: GT


 
 
"It's hilarious to see the two rivals, who slammed each other during the debates, appear harmonious in the video. Should voters choose the one who some say has mental problems or the one with health problems? I think it's a tough choice for Americans to make," Net user "lucydaniu" said.

The moderator of the third debate, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, also shared the limelight, with some netizens unearthing his ties with China: his father, Mike Wallace, interviewed two former Chinese leaders - Deng Xiaoping in 1986 and Jiang Zemin in 2000.  Wallace's father has become a household name in China after Jiang openly praised him by saying he is "head and shoulders above" Hong Kong journalists in 2001.

A CNN poll showed that 52 percent of those who watched the third debate think Clinton won, with 39 percent favoring Trump. This is a closer margin than the second debate on October 9, with 57 percent saying Clinton won as against 34 percent for Trump.

Many Chinese media outlets, including ifeng.com, provided live broadcasts of the debate and uploaded video footage on their websites or official Sina Weibo accounts.

Photo: qq.com Graphic: GT

Photo: qq.com Graphic: GT


 

Photo: qq.com Graphic: GT

Photo: qq.com Graphic: GT


 


Newspaper headline: Chinese entertained by US debate


Posted in: POLITICS,SOCIETY

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