After Hillary Clinton finally announced on Sunday afternoon her decision to run for president in 2016, Chinese netizens wasted no time in flocking to Weibo to debate about her merits in their own nuanced and not terribly nice way.
A Sina News post on Weibo about Clinton’s announcement drew a colorful mix of nationalistic hatred and sexist slurs from commenters.
In the comments, many believed that if elected president, Clinton will be extremely tough on China and significantly damage US-China relations. “This old woman is extremely anti-China. I’m all for women in politics, but I simply can’t support her. I have no clue what her supporters are thinking,” one user commented, earning the most number of likes.
Meanwhile, other commenters used a different line of reasoning to criticize Clinton’s leadership skills. “This old witch couldn’t even properly manage her husband’s crotch! How is she supposed to manage an entire country?” one popular comment reads. Numerous other users have joyfully pointed out the fact that if elected, “she will become the only person in the world who has done the president and been the president.”
Yesterday, Foreign Policy looked at the discussion on a CCTV post on Weibo about Clinton’s announcement and found that Republicans may hold a more positive view of Hillary Clinton than do Chinese netizens:
On a popular post about Clinton’s announcement from state-run Chinese Central Television (CCTV), the most up-voted comment called her an “old witch,” who, if elected, “would make Sino-U.S. elections even worse.” In a popular comment, one user expressed concern that Clinton would increase regional tensions by moving closer to China’s rival Japan and stirring up trouble in the South China Sea, where Beijing and Washington are already angling for influence. Another predicted that if Clinton became president, “World War III would not be far away.”
This conforms with the surprising amount of anger Clinton seems to generate from pretty much every corner of the Chinese internet that Foreign Policy noticed last year and that led a 2013 Global Times editorial to deem her “the most hated U.S. political figure” in the eyes of Chinese netizens.
Where does all the hate come from? Clinton has been a long-time critic of China’s human rights record. Just last week she angered Chinese leadership by tweeting that China’s detention of the five women’s rights activists was inexcusable and must end. In 2014, her memoir Hard Choices was effectively banned in China, though it doesn’t seem like copies would have been flying off the shelves here anyway.
by Alex Linder