China According to Trump

A widely shared August 2015 Youtube video features a mash-up of clips of Donald Trump saying the word “China” dozens of times. The film is a gag, but it captures—albeit in a kind of fun house mirror—the U.S. President’s concern for one of America’s most complex diplomatic relationships, even as his attitudes toward it can be dizzying, careening from contempt to lavish praise and back again, often in remarkably short spans of time.

During the campaign, ChinaFile began collecting Trump’s comments on China as part of a project to track the role of China in the presidential election. Since Trump’s inauguration—the moment when his pronouncements necessarily became embedded in the larger project of his administration’s policymaking—we have collected the public statements on China not only from Trump himself but from senior members of his administration, in a wide variety of formats, from official press releases to early morning Tweets. We present them here, housed in an interactive database, to help users keep abreast of shifts in policy and to make it as easy as possible to see how and where the administration’s positions on China diverge from official to unofficial and how they have evolved over time. Our dataset is still far from comprehensive, but we will be continuing to build and refine during the second year of Trump’s presidency.

You can read more about how to use “China According to Trump” below the graphic.

Last updated: February 9, 2018

How to Use “China According to Trump”

“China According to Trump” opens in Timeline view, which displays all statements grouped by date. You can choose whether to group quotations by day, month, or year by selecting from the dropdown menu near the top of the graphic. Click on any individual tile to go to Detail view, where you can see each quotation in full, along with a link to its source.

Clicking on the clock icon in the upper lefthand corner of the graphic will open a drop-down menu, allowing you to select Gallery view. In Gallery view, you can sort quotations by Topics, by Format (whether the statements were made in an interview with News Media, at Press Briefings, on Social Media, in Speeches and Remarks, or in Written Statements and Releases), Location (geographic, unless it was communicated over social media, in which case the social media platform will be specified), or by the Name or Office of the person making the statement. Click on any individual tile to enter Detail view. You can return to the previous view by clicking the triangle icon in the upper lefthand corner.

In Detail view, clicking on hyperlinked text (for example, clicking on “Economy” in the Topics section) will take you to Gallery view and apply a filter, showing you all relevant entries (in this case, all entries tagged “Economy”).

From any page, click on the filter icon in the upper lefthand corner to reveal a menu sidebar that will allow you to filter database entries. Once you have applied a filter, it will remain in place as you click and search through the database until you remove it by clicking the pill-shaped button near the top of the graphic.

From any page, click on the magnifying glass in the upper righthand corner to search for particular words within the database. By default, the search field is set to “Quote,” but you can change which field is searched by selecting from the drop-down menu.

From any page, clicking on the title, “China According to Trump,” at the top of the graphic will take you back to the home screen (Timeline view).

Click on the pop-out icon in the upper righthand corner to open a new window with a full-screen version of the graphic. In the full-screen version, you can also view and download the spreadsheet containing all the information shown in the graphic—simply click on the drop-down menu near the upper righthand corner and select “About,” then go to the hyperlink under “Source.” To get an embed code for the graphic, click on the “Share” button located in the red banner at the top of the screen.

You can navigate back to any previous view by clicking “back” in your browser.

Notes on Our Selection and Presentation of Data

The public statements featured in this interactive database were made by senior appointees of the Presidential Administration of Donald Trump or issued by an office headed by a senior-level presidential appointee. The collection begins on January 20, 2017, the day of Trump’s inauguration. Where a statement was issued by more than one person, we have created separate entries for it (one under each name). We have not included anonymously sourced statements. For statements made on broadcast media, we have only included those for which a written transcript is publicly available. In cases where the statement or series of statements appears as part of a longer transcript, interview, press release, etc., we have included only the passages that relate to China; where multiple statements were made during a single event or in a single document, they appear as a single entry in our database.

While we have begun our collection of all relevant statements, we know our data is incomplete and hope you’ll help us make it more comprehensive by letting us know what we’ve left out. If you find something we’ve overlooked, or if you have a question about our data please email us.

The data for “China According to Trump” was assembled and edited by: Jonathan Landreth, Jessica Batke, Sara Segal-Williams, Susan Jakes, Anna Lee Perez, Xiao Kang, Liu Xiaoxia, Nicholas Wah, Wan Jingyu, Tsering Wangmo, and Wang Yifan. The interactive database was built by Jessica Batke using the Arrays platform.