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China’s netizens mock Donald Trump, but they fear Hillary Clinton

Reuters/Jonathan Ernst
What’s not to love?
By Zheping Huang
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

The time has come to seriously weigh a Hillary Clinton presidency against a Donald Trump one—even in China.

Both candidates dominated Super Tuesday. At last count, Donald Trump won six of the 11 states voting in the Republican polls, while Hillary Clinton took seven of the 11 states voting for their Democratic nominee.

Chinese state media is closely following the US presidential election, although it is sometimes hard to tell whether that is to give readers more knowledge about the voting process or to mock it. A newspaper affiliated with the Chinese army wrote (link in Chinese) ahead of Super Tuesday results: ”Whether Trump becomes a joke, or lets the American democratic elections become a joke, let us wait and see.”

China’s internet users, most of the time, view Trump as a joke. He is nicknamed “Chuanpu,” an abbreviation of “Sichuan Putonghua,” which means “Mandarin with a Sichuan accent.” This is simply because “Trump” and “Chuanpu” sound somewhat similar (the second pronunciation here). The localization has become a reason to support Trump, Weibo users joke.

Li Delin:
In order to promote our Sichuan Putonghua, I support this doubi to be the US president to endorse Chuanpu.

“Doubi,” is online slang that literally means “funny (female genitalia),” but is closer in meaning to “funny douchebag.”

In other cases, Trump is also called 唐床破, or Tang Chuangpo. This is a translation of Donald Trump into a Chinese name with “Tang” (it sounds similar to Don-) as a surname and “Chuangpo” (like “Chuanpu,” it sounds similar to Trump) as a given name. In literal meaning, “Chuangpo” means “bed broken.”

Wang Shiyu Katrina:
Much hope Tang Chuangpo to win the election! After that international news will be as fascinating as crosstalk comedies! Isn’t Tang Chuangpo a live Eric Cartman? #Trump2016

(Plenty of China’s internet users watch South Park, the animated series. It is officially distributed on streaming portal Sohu.)

At a first glance, Trump should be the last candidate China wants to see as the next US president, thanks to his hateful, inaccurate anti-China speeches. If elected, and if Trump turns his words into reality, the US will add a huge tariff to Chinese imports and take millions of low-skilled factory jobs back from China.

But Clinton is an incredibly unwelcome figure in China, and widely expected to be a tougher president to negotiate with. Her “Pivot to Asia” strategy as Barack Obama’s Secretary of State was deemed a potential threat to China’s influence in the region. After she left the position, her memoirs touched on China’s censorship, and she openly criticized the country’s detention of five female feminists—moves likely to have irritated Beijing.

“Hillary or Trump, who is more unfavorable to China?” asked Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television (link in Chinese) on Monday (Mar. 1) on Weibo. Judging from the comments from mainland Chinese netizens, most are in favor of a Trump presidency because they believe China’s global influence could suffer more under Clinton. Though they hate both of them, they fear Clinton more.

Here’s a few responses:

Howl to the sky 2012:
If Hillary took office she would focus on the containment of China in political and military aspects, while Trump would focus on  containing China’s economy. Hillary is a veteran politician, serpent. Trump is a political newcomer, outspoken. In comparison, the Democrats coming to power is more unfavorable to China.
Anti-Japanese Base Yudong:
To China, Hillary is like a lioness, while Trump is more like a bull. Just think that Bush Junior was arrogant during the election but was tender in the latter part of his tenure, it’s not hard to imagine Trump is easier to tame.
Little Sam who worries the state
If we look at global geopolitics as a grand drama, then Hillary is a dedicated old performer while Trump is a utility cast member. The latter is easier to imagine making mistakes, acting passively, and to cope with. Go Trump!

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