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Why are recent Chinese immigrants supporting Trump?
South China Morning Post ^ | 10 Oct 2016 | Shi Jiangto

Posted on 10/16/2016 10:05:48 PM PDT by Cronos

Donald Trump may have achieved something other US presidential candidates could only dream of: motivating Chinese immigrants – traditionally politically indifferent – to go to the polls next month.

While Chinese Americans, like other ethnic groups in the United States, remain largely divided over the Republican candidate and many of his controversial policy proposals, they all agree that Trump has fuelled an unprecedented level of political activism among Chinese immigrants in the run-up to this year’s presidential election.

While the maverick candidate has lost many traditional Republican supporters, his unconventional style has galvanised fresh support from others who are usually not interested in politics, including many Chinese Americans, according to Cliff Li, an adviser to the Trump campaign.

“This campaign is very unorthodox, by all means,” said Li, who sits on Trump‘s Asian Pacific American Advisory Committee, which was set up last month.

Li, a businessman in the information technology sector who moved to the US from mainland China in 1990, is also executive director of the National Committee of Asian American Republicans. Both committees are aimed at enhancing Republicans’ outreach to Asian voters, who despite comprising a relatively small part of the electorate are believed by some analysts to be a source of key swing votes that could influence the result.

“He is not a traditional politician or a typical Republican,” Li said. “He’s very energetic, unconventional, and probably would not be an ideal presidential candidate in a normal year. But the fact that he is an interesting outsider has made him all the more attractive this year.”

Trump has attracted many fervent supporters among a new generation of Chinese immigrants who are vocal and passionate about their conservative political views.

While Trump’s opponents express horror at his provocative remarks on issues ranging from trade to America’s security alliances – and his sexist and reckless demeanour – his supporters find such attributes attractive. Widespread dissatisfaction with US President Barack Obama’s policies on the economy, national security, immigration and college enrolment appear to be boosting Trump’s popularity among Chinese immigrants.

“I’ve seen many Chinese who’ve become enthusiastic about politics and are siding with Republicans simply because they love Trump,” Li said.

Zhang Wei, a leader of Chinese-Americans for Trump in Virginia, a grass-roots organisation, is one of them.

“Like most Chinese immigrants, I was not interested in politics before, said Zhang, 41, who arrived in the US in 2000. “But I am so fascinated about Trump and began to campaign for him as a volunteer since the primaries last year.

“Trump is the only one who dares to defy political correctness to point out the real problems facing this country while many others don’t have the guts to do so. I support Republicans because I like Trump’s personal style and agree with their more conservative economic and public policies.”

Li said a lot of Chinese Americans had switched parties to support Trump, which had puzzled many political scientists.

“Quite a lot of his supporters are from outside Republican Party,” he said.

According to a Pew Research Centre report, half of Asian Americans are Democrats or lean Democratic, while only 28 per cent identify with or lean toward the Republicans.

Li said support for Republicans had declined sharply from over 50 per cent in 1992 to only about 25 per cent during the last election in 2012.

“We are seeing a new trend that more Chinese Americans switch sides and begin to support Trump in this election, but it is difficult to tell exactly the scale of such changes due to the lack of polling statistics on Asian Americans,” he said.

Li, a Republican since 2004, said he supported Trump out of party loyalty but would not describe himself as a Trump fan.

“I actually disagree with him on a few minor issues, such as his style and the way he speaks,” Li said. “He is more of a businessman and he always goes off the script during speeches and it causes a lot of confusion. I wish he could be more careful, but Trump is Trump and that’s his style. We have to live with it.”

Grace Su, an organiser for Chinese-Americans for Trump in New York, said engaging in the election campaign was not just about supporting her favourite candidate, but also about giving Chinese Americans a voice.

Su, a former business executive who moved to the US in 2008, said she had noticed an increase in political participation by Chinese Americans since the sentencing of Chinese American police officer Peter Liang for manslaughter in April over the shooting death of an unarmed black man in New York in 2014.

Liu was the first New York City police officer convicted for an on-duty shooting in more than a decade, something many Chinese Americans blamed on racial discrimination. Thousands took to the streets in protest.

“We never paid attention to politics,” she said. “But we never realised that we’ve faced systematic discrimination on many issues because we don’t speak out.”

Trump’s promise to crack down on crimes targeting ethnic minority groups has won him a lot of support from Chinese Americans.

“We are seeing rising crimes and cultural violence targeting Chinese Americans,” Li said. “We will have a protest in [Washington] DC on October 12 along with other minority communities such as Africans.”

Chinese Americans have also been angered by Democrat affirmative action policies, including a discriminatory quota system to limit Asian Americans’ access to universities while trying to advance admissions from other ethnic groups.

Su said Chinese American students suffered most under such a system. Even though they generally performed better in exams than their African American counterparts, they might end up in less preferred universities.

“We did not realise that it is not about how hard we work … we are still outsiders if we don’t understand the politics and culture of the US, no matter how many years we have stayed here,” she said.

Li said the policy was “totally unfair and that’s one of the key reasons why so many Chinese Americans switch to support Republicans this year”.

The controversial policy introduced by the Obama administration to allow transgender students to use bathrooms matching their gender identity also appears to have sparked a backlash among many Chinese immigrants. “We are not against LGBT, but we find it an outrageous and misguided policy which caused a lot of concerns among Chinese families,” Li said.

While Asian Americans have surpassed Hispanics as the largest group of new immigrants to the US, most Chinese Americans do not have a strong sense of civic responsibility despite recent positive changes.

“Sadly we are not a political force yet because statistics show that Chinese American voter turnout is behind almost all the other Asian American groups and the fact that most Chinese Americans don’t live in those swing states,” Li said. “We will be able to make a difference, but not necessarily in this election. There is no doubt Chinese American will have a rising impact on American politics.”

Political pundits said many Chinese Americans who had not voted in previous elections had been more vocal ahead of this election, with divisions evident in the Chinese American community between older, more liberal immigrants and newer, more conservative arrivals.

“The fact that Chinese Americans are almost evenly divided between the two candidates is a testimony of their strong integration in the American society,” said Dr Gal Luft, the co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, based in Potomac, Maryland. “I believe that despite the polls the elections will show stronger support for Trump among Asian Americans. The reason is that Trump epitomises personal success to which ambitious and hard-working people can relate.”

TOPICS: Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: chinese; clinton; trump
Note the points I highlighted (darker font)
1 posted on 10/16/2016 10:05:48 PM PDT by Cronos
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To: Cronos

The Chinese know all about communism and they recognize a communist, when they see one: Hillary.

2 posted on 10/16/2016 10:09:12 PM PDT by Innovative ("Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." -- Vince Lombardi)
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To: Cronos

I find it hard to take these articles seriously when they can’t figure out why Trump has support of (fill in the blank) demographic.

That just shows the bias of the reporter. I assume the reporter did research and thus chooses to avoid the logical conclusion that Trump is actually appealing to many and his support is broad.

And that decision to avoid the logical conclusion makes me just dismiss this article out of hand.

3 posted on 10/16/2016 10:13:21 PM PDT by BJ1
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To: Innovative
bump to the top

Sweetheart of the Rodeo | The Byrds | 1968

4 posted on 10/16/2016 10:13:23 PM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a Simple Manner for a Happy Life :o)
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To: Cronos

American Conservative Values are actually compatible with Chinese values especially on business and love of family.

After One Child policy, the Yellow Race understands the importance of strong and big family to expand wealth.

Chinese are communists in their homeland but capitalists in other parts of the world. The argument for the former is now more unclear considering how PRC is embracing capitalism to expand and utilize its wealth.

5 posted on 10/16/2016 10:24:15 PM PDT by convertedtoreason ( Nature tells us to take a LIBERTARIAN CONSERVATIVE stance)
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To: Innovative

Exactly! They said took tremendous efforts to come here for the American dream, not Mexican or South African or Zimbabwe dream.

6 posted on 10/16/2016 10:26:14 PM PDT by Rebel2016
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To: Cronos

If we really want healthy immigration, we should be encouraging the Chinese to come in. Compared to latinos and Africans, the Chinese culture fits very well with us.

7 posted on 10/16/2016 10:27:00 PM PDT by convertedtoreason ( Nature tells us to take a LIBERTARIAN CONSERVATIVE stance)
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To: BJ1
chooses to avoid the logical conclusion

He may well be another liberal drone inhabiting in media land. However, if I could give him benefit of doubt, I could say some of them do this as a survival strategy. Going against prevailing liberal orthodoxy in MSM is a career ender.

Affirmative action in college admission is an issue which can touch raw nerve among Asian Americans. If somebody scraps affirmative action in college admission, he can have almost all support of Asians, E. Asians, S.E Asians, and Indians.

I am pretty sure that the likes of Paul Ryan will never touch this issue in million years.

8 posted on 10/16/2016 10:54:53 PM PDT by TigerLikesRooster (alt.current-events.clinton.whitewater)
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To: convertedtoreason

Actually, so do Nigerian Christians [not the muslim ones]. My sister’s been working with them and they are hard working, well-educated, English-speaking, and very much against a welfare state and against illegal immigration because of what they’ve had to put up with from the muslims.

9 posted on 10/16/2016 10:59:41 PM PDT by piasa
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To: Cronos

China probably ships in more illegals than all other nations combined, via shipping containers, most tied up by threats and blackmail making them slaves in the country representing hope and freedom. Please don’t patronize the buffet restaurants who “possess” most of these unfortunates. Those who don’t make the cut for food service are tumped to their sex trade. Horrible all around.

10 posted on 10/16/2016 11:11:30 PM PDT by N-R-T (NewRome Tacitus)
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To: Cronos

Because he’s the candidate of economic opportunity, and because the Chinese - unlike America’s blinkered Leftists - are aware of the pitfalls of communism; an awareness gained by harsh experience.

11 posted on 10/16/2016 11:34:39 PM PDT by Jack Hammer
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To: Cronos
Back in my old days...from about 1987 till somewhere in the mid 90’s I worked at a Chinese restaurant on Cape Code, MA, the owner was a survivor of the communist take over of China, his parents were land owners at the time, his story about getting out of China and making it to be an owner of a restaurant on the Cape, were very remarkable.

Once I asked for a day off, and he said, you have a day off already, the same as me Tuesday's, you don't have to come in till 5:00 p.m. so that gives you the whole day off.

At the time I was working 6 days a week from 10:30 a.m. till closing which could be well into the wee hours of the next day, and coming back in the next the morning early to set up for the day, on Tuesday's I didn't have to come in till 5:00 p.m.

He really did think that half day off was a real day off, till this day I have never met such hard working and happy to be able to strive person as he was.

When the first Bush was in office and running again, he donated big dough, and was able to have his picture taken with GB 1 when he came to the Cape for fundraising, and was very proud of the picture he had placed in the lobby.

I would think from his story, and many others that have experienced what happens when the left gains absolute control, given the chance they would certainly never Vote it in.

12 posted on 10/17/2016 12:00:51 AM PDT by empressword
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To: convertedtoreason
If we really want healthy immigration, we should be encouraging the Chinese to come in.

There already exists one China in the world, why do we need two?

13 posted on 10/17/2016 2:33:05 AM PDT by Ethan Clive Osgoode (Nuke Saudi Arabia now)
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To: Cronos


14 posted on 10/17/2016 2:33:08 AM PDT by indcons (Blue Lives Matter.)
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To: indcons

Legal immigrants have traditionally supported conservative politics. Historically, immigrants have been the hard working, save for the future, learn, and integrate with society people well suited for traditional US values. It’s only the recent Democrat supported immigrants who are given welfare, grants, and dependency. that support the Democrat party.

15 posted on 10/17/2016 4:27:00 AM PDT by norwaypinesavage (always)
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To: convertedtoreason

“If we really want healthy immigration, we should be encouraging the Chinese to come in. Compared to latinos and Africans, the Chinese culture fits very well with us.”

We’ve got all the ‘Dreamers” we need. Time to close the gates and kick out the ones that don’t belong.

16 posted on 10/17/2016 5:24:51 AM PDT by dljordan (WhoVoltaire: "To find out who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.")
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To: norwaypinesavage

Agree -100%

17 posted on 10/17/2016 12:31:06 PM PDT by indcons (Blue Lives Matter.)
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