Watching Trump Inch Towards Victory, With Cheers, in China – China Real Time Report – WSJ

As vote tallies came in late Tuesday night, it was Wednesday morning in China and inside the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, many Chinese watchers were celebrating the increasingly likely prospect of a Donald Trump win.

The event, intended to give Chinese locals the opportunity to experience a U.S. election, featured a mock vote and the opportunity for locals to pose with large cut-out photos of Mr. Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, as well as remarks from U.S. Ambassador Max Baucus.

As he stood and watched the results roll in on a large overhead screen, Tian Junwu, a professor at the Beihang University School of Foreign Languages, said he was rooting for Mr. Trump’s victory.

“I’m a man. I don’t like a woman to be too strong,” said Mr. Tian. “She is too overbearing, like my wife. I think Trump is funny.”

Though the Republican candidate has threatened to slap a 45% tariff on Chinese goods, Mr. Tian said such a prospect wasn’t too alarming. “We [Chinese people] know now that candidates say one thing when they are running, but becoming a president is a different thing.”

Zhong Shaoliang, the Beijing representative of the industry group World Steel Association, said that the candidates seemed similar to him, but that he preferred Mr. Trump because he seemed more authentic. “He’s more American that way,” he said.

Still, he said that if he was American himself, he would see some perhaps worrying aspects at the prospect of a Trump win. “Hillary would be better for overall harmony. Trump will likely continue to further divide America up.”

As Florida was called for Mr. Trump, a pair of second-year college students studying English at the Beijing Language and Culture University said they were pleased.

“Clinton gives me kind of a sinister feeling, I’m kind of scared of her,” said Xu Xiayan, 19, who said she and her friends were paying more attention to the election this year, mostly for its entertainment value. “She’s good at pretending. Like when Trump is saying things and making her angry, she still maintains a slight smile.” Her friend agreed.Kang Xiaoguang, a professor at Renmin University’s China Institute for Philosophy and Social Innovation, said many of his friends were also cheering for Mr. Trump. “He’s saying things that people in America in their hearts might really feel — like about immigrants, about Muslims — but don’t dare say.” And from a foreign-policy perspective, he said, he thought Mr. Trump would be more likely to pull back on a global stage, including in places such as the South China Sea. “That way, China won’t have so much pressure on it,” he said.

“Also, some people feel the U.S. makes too much trouble for China, so if there’s a person making trouble in the U.S., they think Trump becoming president is a good thing,” he added.

Given the chance, he said, he might have cast his ballot for Mrs. Clinton, who he sees as steadier and easier to predict. A recent Pew survey found that Chinese respondents have a poor image of both presidential candidates, but viewed Mrs. Clinton slightly more favorably than her opponent.

Still, no matter what he does in office, Mr. Kang said he didn’t think that Trump’s impact would necessarily be too great. “America is a very mature system,” he said. It won’t be easily rocked by one person.”

Source: Watching Trump Inch Towards Victory, With Cheers, in China – China Real Time Report – WSJ

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