OnePacificNews, December 6, 2018, Thursday

Twitter: @WengCouver

US President Donald Trump, the nemesis of China and so many other countries, has proved enduringly popular with the Chinese people. On Weibo, he’s frequently mentioned in a positive light.

This has been one of Trump’s standout paradoxes since he started his run for the White House job in 2015 promising to take a tough stand against China.

Consistently, the Chinese have voiced their admiration for his nationalistic policies even though they are specifically aimed at checking China’s rise.

What gives?

News reports have given a variety of reasons for his popularity among the common Chinese folk. Most find him honest and straight-talking even if many, if not, most Americans disagree. Given the Chinese preference for leaders with an earthy touch, they regard his rude and brash talk as a breath of fresh air from a leader with a common touch. His unlikely success against the establishment during the presidential campaign earned him cult status as someone brave and committed to take on the odds. Most importantly, he won. Like Americans, the Chinese love a winner.

They have more reason to respect him now. Since taking office, Trump has kept his campaign promise to get tough on China. Unlike his predecessors, Trump has not folded to domestic lobbies to compromise his hardline stance against Beijing on issues like trade, human rights and Taiwan.

Strange as it may seem, many Chinese are quietly wishing he succeeds.

Here’s one reason, and a very important one.

Xi Jinping has practically crushed all domestic dissent to his rule. Unlike in the time of Mao Zedong where the chairman could do whatever he pleased behind the bamboo curtain, Xi’s actions and policies in today’s hyperconnected world face greater scrutiny by everyone. Xi may be powerful at home, but he has to deal with outsiders who strongly disagree with him. They don’t come stronger, more fearsome, and unpredictable than Trump.

Thus, many Chinese who oppose Xi’s policies and actions are gravitating towards Trump as their last hope.

Here’s an example of Chinese who disagree with their leader inadvertently looking to Trump for help.
How China’s economic reformers are using US trade war to push demands for opening up
Thursday, 29 November, 2018, Jane Cai

Pro-reform intellectuals, including people close to Vice-Premier Liu He, are urging policymakers to open up economy further and implement pro-market reforms Calls to introduce level playing field and end preferential treatment of state-owned enterprises mirrors many of Washington’s demands