It’s easy to see how Melania Trump or President Donald Trump’s granddaughter might attract a lot of fans in China. But as it turns out they weren’t the only ones who apparently have a fan club.
Turns out the Chinese are intrigued and entranced with the Donald himself.
Chinese tend to respect the strong and he certainly projects that in abundance.
From NY Times:
They call him “Donald the Strong.” They heap praise on his family. They fawn over his rapid-fire tweets. They have even created an online fan club.
In America, President Trump faces a feisty press corps, damaging investigations into associates and sagging approval ratings.
But in China, where Mr. Trump arrived Wednesday, he has acquired a legion of admirers who hail him as a straight-talking politician and business mogul with a knack for deal-making.
“He’s true to himself,” said Dai Xiang, a resident of the eastern province of Jiangsu who belongs to an online group of more than 23,000 people that exchanges news and commentary about Mr. Trump. “He’s real, unlike other politicians.”
He’s found many fans and ardent supporters.
They refer to him as “Uncle Trump,” “Grand Commander” and “Donald the Strong.” After Mr. Trump’s visit to the Forbidden City on Wednesday with President Xi Jinping, one fan wrote on social media, “Long live Emperor Trump!”
Mr. Trump’s Chinese fans praise his irrepressible style, his skill as an entertainer and his willingness to say what he thinks. Many also like the fact that he seems less inhibited than previous American presidents about recognizing China as a superpower and as an equal on the global stage.
It’s a different approach to China, recognizing their value and achievements, while not disregarding America’s concerns and interests.
Trump has changed the tone of the conversation with China.
For many Chinese, Mr. Trump is a familiar type: the celebrity businessman. Successful, outspoken tycoons can win godlike status in China’s get-rich society, and Mr. Trump is no exception. His books, including “Trump Never Give Up,” received glowing reviews on Chinese websites. He is presented as a role model, a billionaire with his own empire of golf courses and gilded hotels.
Some believe his boardroom acumen will help him strike trade deals that will also benefit China’s economy.
“As a successful businessman, Trump definitely won’t ignore the huge size of China’s consumer base,” said Li Yang, 25, a designer.
Not everyone is a fan and some held him on a conditional basis, if what he did was good for China.
“If he’s doing good for China, I like him,” said Liu Chunyu, 56, a delivery man. “If not, I don’t like him.”
But most see him as more receptive and less preaching or trying to dictate to China.
Many Chinese “have a strong revulsion and hostility toward ‘political correctness’ in Western society,” Chen Jibing, a political commentator in Shanghai, wrote in a blog post this week. “They see themselves in Trump.”
Being a celebrity already also helped, they were already familiar with him from his TV show.
Mr. Trump’s most effective tool in winning over Chinese audiences may be his family. His daughter Ivanka, who started her own fashion brand, is regarded as a role model for young Chinese entrepreneurs. His 6-year-old granddaughter, Arabella, became a nationally known figure this year after a video appeared of her singing in Chinese.
On Wednesday, Mr. Trump showed Mr. Xi another video of his granddaughter singing in Chinese, which was shared widely after it was posted online, attracting tens of millions of views in less than 24 hours.
They see his granddaughter learning Chinese and his treatment of President Xi as acknowledging their culture, something they didn’t feel from Obama.
Calling him ‘Uncle,’ a respected honorific, is a big deal. It indicates someone who is both owed respect and whose word is important to regard.
And it shows Trump has made some great inroads.
[Note: This post was written by Nick Arama.]