Donald Trump may have an extremely complicated love-hate relationship with China (ok, mostly hate), but it seems that he also has a growing and outspoken group of young Chinese American fans.
Sina News attended a meeting in Los Angeles held earlier this month between the leaders of a group of pro-Trump Chinese descendants living in the United States that now numbers some 700 in their WeChat group.
At the meeting, the group deliberated upon what their objectives should be, including setting up small organizations in large cities across the US and resolutely rejecting the Democratic Party candidate. Their biggest goal, however, is to organize a major meeting of Chinese American Trump supporters in two months time, where, hopefully, The Donald himself will agree to speak.
The group's founder, Wang Tian, says that his passion for Trump grew, like most good ideas, from a five-hour YouTube binge, watching Trump speech after Trump speech. "It suddenly hit me that this guy is trustworthy because he makes no secret of his feelings," Wang recalls.
A statement that might seem somewhat contradictory when the group tries to explain away Trump’s frequent attacks on China. During his run for president, Trump has vowed to declare China a currency manipulator on his first day in office, urged that Xi Jinping should be force fed McDonald’s during his visit to the White House and charged that China is “raping our country.”
But Wang and his group firmly believe that Trump is merely using China as a “punching bag” to gain support with the voters. Once he is in office then it will go back to business as usual.
In the meantime, Trump's bluntness is a major selling point to his Chinese American fans. "I think Donald Trump has the guts to say things that normal people in the rest of society fear to say," another Trump supporter, Gu Yu, told CNN. "I think political correctness covers up problems instead of solving them."
"Fuck political correctness," agrees Wang, who wants Chinese state media to start referring to Trump as "川普," rather than "特朗普," because it sounds more "down to earth."
But apart from liking that he just says whatever he thinks, Wang also agrees with what Trump thinks. "He doesn't like illegal immigrants, I don’t like them either. He says he loves the Chinese, I love the Chinese too. He doesn’t like Muslims entering America… I can’t say that I don’t like Muslims, but we simply don’t have perfect measures to prevent terrorists from entering the country, so I also support him there."
In 1992, George H. W. Bush won 55% of the Asian American vote. Since then, things have shifted, with Asian Americans voting for the Democratic candidate in the last five presidential elections. According to Wang, that could all change this election, thanks to young Chinese Americans:
"[The first-generation] Chinese-Americans were mostly poor, so they were more in favor of the Democratic Party, as it could give them more social welfare," Wang said. "But this shouldn't be our American dream. The Chinese-Americans should make successes in business. We should be more active in politics. We should be a part of mainstream society," he says.
Presumably, this is the kind of thing that the Global Times was talking about when they used Trump as an example in a March editorial for why democracy doesn't work, calling him a "rich, narcissist and imflammatory candidate" whose "remarks are abusively racist and extremist" and if elected would "worry the whole world."