In a story published in Politico Magazine, I explained the surprisingly positive attitudes toward Trump among Chinese.
“Trump is very, very popular among Chinese Internet users,” says Kecheng Fang, a former reporter in China who now researches Chinese media at the University of Pennsylvania.
In fact, Trump’s apparently pliable views on human rights (he has expressed interest in bringing back torture, for one) and disregard for traditional bounds of discussion in American politics have helped him win fans from the more nationalistic corners of Chinese social media. In China, a strain of Islamophobia has emerged in response to both terror attacks abroad and outrage at Chinese affirmative-action policies that favor Muslim students in the scoring of the gaokao, the standardized college entrance exam. “Many Chinese share Trump’s anti-Muslim and anti-political-correctness sentiment,” says Fang, who has followed Trump-related discussions on Zhihu, China’s Quora equivalent. One particularly popular Zhihu post in support of Trump’s policy to ban Muslims from entering the United States reads, “A Western civilization dominated by political correctness is […] doomed to die.” The post received almost 10,000 upvotes.