China reimagines the US presidential debate as a romantic karaoke session between Clinton and Trump


If the first US presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was a “granny” versus a “bastard” according to Chinese viewers, the second was a romantic karaoke performance.

The hashtag “Trump and Hillary sing love songs together” (link in Chinese, registration required) was viewed more than 320,000 times on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter following Sunday’s (Oct. 9) debate.

Chinese netizens created memes of the two US presidential candidates singing love songs on stage. (Chengdu Shangbao)

The lyrics, red for Trump and white for Clinton, come from popular Chinese karaoke favorites—typically soppy ballads from Taiwan.

The first screenshot shows Trump singing, ‘Do you know that my heart—,” and Clinton answers, “Desires true love.” The original song was wildly popular in the early 1990s, and featured martial arts star Jackie Chan.

In the second, Trump says, “I look forward to you discovering my love.” Clinton sings in response, “My love for you is everywhere.” The lyrics come from “Waiting For Your Love,” a song by popular Singaporean singer JJ Lin in 2008.

In the final one, as Trump stands in the background and sings “Hey you, please come closer to my embrace,” Clinton says, “Don’t pretend you don’t care as you obviously felt something.” This one comes from a 2005 song by Taiwanese singer Show Luo, also known as “Little Pig.” The track, translated as “Love Expert,” tells the story of a couple who meet in a club.

Taiwanese newspaper Apple Daily also recast the debate as a performance of “Rooftop,” a 2001 smash hit and karaoke staple by Taiwanese superstar Jay Chou and Landy Wen.

The romantic duet potential of the debate also wasn’t lost on Western audiences, who quickly turned the debate into renditions of “Dirty Dancing,” “Grease,” and Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain.”

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