A group of elite Chinese-American Donald Trump supporters finally got to meet their hero on Friday outside of his Beverly Hills home, showing up with a white T-shirt reading “Chinese Americans <3 Trump" to present to The Donald himself. Trump responded in kind, telling them that: "I love China and the Chinese people." Of course, his supporters already knew that. After all, he began his campaign last year by calling Mexican people "rapists" and proclaiming his love for China — one of his all-time favorite subjects.
Meeting Trump meant a great deal to Wang Tian, the president and founder of Trump’s biggest Chinese-American fan club. Once again, he praised the Republican presidential nominee for his courage to discard political correctness, characteritizing Trump as “a true alpha male,” according to the politically conservative Breitbart News.
Trump’s meeting with his Chinese supporters came just after he completed a controversial interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper where the possible future president defended his repeated accusations that a Latino judge was biased against him because of his Mexican heritage as not being racist.
It’s these kind of blunt, unapologetic statements that appear to appeal to Wang’s group, even if they are made against China. During his run for president, Trump has insulted Chinese President Xi Jinping, stated that he will declare China as a currency manipulator on his first day in office and said that China is “raping” America. Despite these harsh words, his Chinese-American supporters believe that Trump is just using China as a “punching bag” to gain support with voters. Once in office, it will go back to business as usual.
At Trump rallies, his Chinese-Americans are often put into the spotlight to show off the candidates “diverse appeal.” Last month, professional troll Ann Coulter bragged about all the “Mandarins” at a San Diego Trump rally. When the MSNBC host tried to clarify her wording, Coulter doubled down: “No you’re not going to police my language. They are Mandarins. It is written in Mandarin,” referring to the signs that supporters were holding.
However supportive and loyal these Chinese-Americans are, they merely represent a handful of Asian-Americans in the US. According to The Straits Times, a recent survey found that over 60% of Asian-American voters don’t favor Trump and less than 20% view him as a trustworthy candidate.
Some netizens on Weibo also voiced their views on Trump. “How can anyone ever believe the words that are coming out of a politician’s mouth? ”, 顺德容桂民生事 wondered. “The worst thing in the world is not an enemy; it is being betrayed by friends. Does Trump belong to the latter? He looks like he is with Hydra, ugh!” J-Hong 1991 wrote.
Overall, it seems like the Chinese love Trump about as much as he loves them.
By Katie Ngai
[Images via Weibo]