• Over­seas stu­dents weigh in on “bizarre” cam­paign.

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By LIA ZHU in San Fran­cisco li­azhu@chi­nadai­lyusa.com May Zhou in Hous­ton and Judy Zhu and Hezi Jiang in New York con­trib­uted to this story.

As a ma­jor­ity of Amer­i­cans feel turned off by the tenor of the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, Chi­nese stu­dents in the US have been watch­ing it closely and have no short­age of ob­ser­va­tions.

Call­ing the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign “the most bizarre and po­lar­ized” in US his­tory, Liu Tianyuan, a se­nior ma­jor­ing in fi­nance at Univer­sity of Tex­as­Austin McCombs School of Busi­ness, said the race be­tween Rom­ney and Obama four years ago seemed like “an old bor­ing his­tory text­book” com­pared to this year’s con­test.

“In­stead of cam­paign­ing on prac­ti­cal poli­cies and vi­sion­ary goals, both can­di­dates have heav­ily re­lied on tac­tics aimed at de­stroy­ing the other can­di­date, con­stantly de­liv­er­ing mes­sages like ‘Never Hil­lary’ and ‘ Dump Trump,’” said Liu, who came from Wuhan, Hubei prov­ince, to the US in 2010.

Cao Yuan, 19, a sopho­more ma­jor­ing in jour­nal­ism and psy­chol­ogy at the Univer­sity of Iowa, said what im­pressed him the most were the scan­dals sur­round­ing both can­di­dates.

“I think who­ever wins the elec­tion would not be friendly to­wards China and the Chi­nese would face dis­crim­i­na­tion in the US,” said Cao, who ar­rived in the US two years ago after grad­u­at­ing from high school.

Trump is con­ser­va­tive with his anti-im­mi­grant plans like “build­ing a wall” and a “ban on Mus­lims”, while Clin­ton is known for her “re­turn to Asi­aPa­cific” strat­egy to con­tain China’s in­flu­ence, said Cao.

“But com­pared with Clin­ton, Trump is a busi­ness­man. I think a Trump pres­i­dency may lead to a less as­sertive US pol­icy to­ward China,” he said.

Liu dis­agreed, say­ing a Trump vic­tory would be much more “dan­ger­ous”. Bet­ter the devil you know than the devil you do not, he said.

“Hil­lary Clin­ton is the known ‘devil’ — some­one China has ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence deal­ing with; Don­ald Trump is the un­pre­dictable naughty one, po­ten­tially caus­ing un­be­liev­able dam­age to the cur­rent world sys­tem,” he said.

“On the eco­nomic side, the dif­fer­ence is even more alarm­ing,” Liu ar­gued. “A Trump vic­tory and the cor­re­spond­ing anti-glob­al­iza­tion theme will greatly harm China’s al­ready slow­ing econ­omy. China’s pros­per­ity still greatly de­pends on trade, and anti-trade is one of Trump’s cen­tral themes.”

He said his rea­son for sup­port­ing Clin­ton was that “her ex­pe­ri­ence and tem­per­a­ment will def­i­nitely help sta­bi­lize an al­ready shaky world”, though she might not be the ideal can­di­date.

“With Brexit, zero-in­ter­est rates, sky­rock­et­ing debt lev­els and a slow­down in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, the world has enough un­cer­tainty,” he said.

He He, a grad­u­ate stu­dent at the Columbia Univer­sity’s School of In­ter­na­tional and Public Af­fairs, said many of his fel­low stu­dents had been fol­low­ing the cam­paigny, watch­ing the three de­bates and dis­cussing them on so­cial me­dia.

“Yet we don’t know about who will be more or less ‘close’ to China,” he said. “Trump aims to bring off­shore man­u­fac­tur­ing jobs back to the US, which could dam­age China’s ex­port busi­nesses, while at the same time, Chi­nese busi­nesses are open­ing up fac­to­ries in the US, and Trump may push that for­ward.”

Some Chi­nese stu­dents don’t care about the elec­tion or be­lieve it’s wiser to keep them­selves out of pol­i­tics.

“This year’s elec­tion is like a drama. We gath­ered at the din­ing hall and watched the pres­i­den­tial de­bate to­gether. It was pretty fun,” said Du Hui, 25, a grad­u­ate stu­dent at Pratt In­sti­tute in New York.

“Ac­tu­ally, I don’t re­ally care about the elec­tion. There is noth­ing we can do about the re­sult,” said Du, who came to the US from Nan­jing in 2011.

“In terms of their poli­cies to­ward China, I think no mat­ter what they said in the cam­paign, it still takes a long time to get plans re­al­ized,” he said. “China is now a su­per na­tion that the US would not eas­ily ne­glect or of­fend it.

China is now a su­per na­tion that the US would not eas­ily ne­glect or of­fend it.” Du Hui, grad­u­ate stu­dent at Pratt In­sti­tute in Brook­lyn

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.