Net users divided over Trump

By Wei Lai Source:Global Times Published: 2016-3-30 1:38:08

Discontent with Clinton boosts tycoon’s popularity: expert

Chinese Net users hold divided views on US Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, an online survey showed.

The poll conducted by, a website affiliated with the Global Times Chinese edition, shows that as of noon on Tuesday, 1,800 voters - 54 percent of those polled - cast ballots in favor of the US billionaire, while 1,530 netizens voted against him.

Trump has garnered increasing support from Chinese Net users and the number of followers of Sina Weibo accounts such as "Trump fan club" and "Great man Donald Trump" has risen as the US presidential primary elections have advanced.

Chinese people - like those in the US - have "mixed feelings" for the candidate, and it might be inaccurate to "over-stress" Chinese people's preference for Trump, Jin Canrong, vice director of the School of International Studies at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Interest in US presidential elections has been falling in China in recent years, compared with the 1980s and 1990s, he added.

Trump has suggested that the US take a lesser role in NATO, calling on Japan and other allies to pay more for their own defense. When asked if he would consider removing troops from Japan and South Korea unless the countries paid more, Trump said yes, the Financial Times reported Sunday.

Because Trump has pursued an isolationist foreign policy stance, his possible rise to the US presidency could restrain the country from engaging in international affairs too much, Wu Xinbo, director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

He added that Trump may propel economic cooperation between the US and the Asia-Pacific region forward, rather than focusing on establishing regional economic unions such as the Trans Pacific Partnership.

"The poll has shown Chinese netizens' discontent over the Democratic Party's policy toward China. The 'pivot to Asia' and Hillary Clinton's foreign policy against China have caused dissatisfaction among Chinese netizens, while Trump's outspokenness and straightforwardness have gained him more support," Wu said.

To many Chinese citizens who have affection for the controversial figure, Trump is more than a politician. The real estate tycoon's reality TV show The Apprentice I has a score of 8.8 out of 10 on Chinese media review site

"He is ... a businessman of pragmatism," Li Fu, a professor with Portland State University in the US, told the Global Times.

"Trump simply blames the economic problems of the US and the trade deficit on China," Li said, pointing out that the businessman nevertheless does not mind doing business in China.

Posted in: Society, Americas

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