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A Chinese Observer of the U.S. Election Reacts to Trump’s Win

On the heels of Donald Trump’s election as the next U.S. president on Tuesday, Hua Jianping, a 40-year-old Beijing native and host of the popular Chinese-language “U.S. Election” podcast, spoke to ChinaFile by telephone from his home in College Station, Texas. Hua started the podcast at the time of the first Republican debate in August 2015, and at its peak in June of this year, it saw an average of 15,000 downloads from the website IPN. A resident of the United States since 2000, Hua teaches computational biology at Texas A&M University. He is not a U.S. citizen, but said that given the chance to vote, he’d have cast his ballot for Clinton.

Why would you have voted for Hillary Clinton?

I would have voted for Hillary for her abilities. I don’t believe in Trump as an outsider who can break the rules. This could lead to a panic mode. Right now, the U.S. needs a compromise, somebody from the center-right or center-left. Hillary was the last chance, or the rise of somebody like Trump was inevitable. Trump will say he can promise anything, but he could wreck the whole system.

What do you make of the contrast between Obama and Trump?

Conversation

11.09.16

How Should Trump Deal with China, and How Should China Deal with Trump?

James Holmes, David Dollar & more
Donald J. Trump, president-elect of the United States, spent much of his antagonistic campaign blaming China for many of America’s economic ills, and repeatedly making thinly veiled threats of a U.S. trade war with Beijing. How should Trump engage...

There is continuity between Obama and Trump. Trump is the outcome of the recent polarization in the U.S. Under a normal political progression, we should have seen somebody like Hillary or Rubio replace Obama, but the polarization that happened after 9/11 gave rise to Trump.

How will Trump’s election affect U.S.-China relations?

Now it will take quite some time for the U.S. and China to learn from one another again. Even U.S. Republicans don’t know Trump, the anti-establishment candidate. In the foreign policy arena, there will be no trust from the start. I don’t know how long it will take even U.S. allies to trust Trump, and China is not an ally. There’s a great opening right now for China to expand its power. If the TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership] doesn’t go through, then China can export its power through the economy, through a trade arrangement of its own. It’s hard to say what Trump will do.

Might the Chinese leadership reach out to Trump?

China probably won.t be the first one to send an olive branch. China will probably wait [to see how] U.S. allies such as Japan and Korea will react to Trump. The [Chinese Communist] Party in China now wants Chinese to look at the U.S. election to solidify their preference for the Singapore model.

What affect did Bernie Sanders have on the election?

Viewpoint

11.09.16

China Just Won The U.S. Election

James Palmer from Foreign Policy
The election of Donald Trump will be a disaster for anyone who cares about human rights, U.S. global leadership, and media freedom. That means it’s a victory for Beijing, where, as I write, the Chinese leaders near me in the palatial complex of...

Bernie had a shot at the presidency if he’d won the primary. He was more experienced than Obama and Trump, but he was uncompromising and couldn’t have solved America’s polarization problems. As Hillary has now failed, the next Democratic candidate will likely come from the Sanders or Elizabeth Warren wing of the party.

What should Obama tell Trump to do about China?

That’s a tough question because Obama’s China policy was bad. Trump won’t give up his hostility towards China because that’s his brand. Obama should tell Trump that he failed to build a personal relationship with Chinese leaders. He basically wasted the first six years of his presidency. Trump thinks he’s good at building personal relationships and if he can really do this, that’d be good.

What feedback are your listeners offering on Trump’s election?

There was such a dramatic gap between the polls and the ultimate outcome I think that listeners just didn’t expect Trump to win. They haven’t yet absorbed what this will mean.