With over a year left to go until polls open for the 2016 US Presidential Election, debates are already firing up as the Republican Party held their second primary debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Despite being early in the race, things have been interesting given the antics of Republican front-runner Donald Trump. The second debate took place in a smaller, more intimate setting than the first, but it certainly did not go unnoticed, not even in China.
Much like in the US, presidential candidate Donald Trump (In Chinese: 特朗普 tèlǎngpǔ) has received the most attention out of the Republican candidates. A recent editorial by the Global Times argued that the candidate’s bashfulness can be traced to his aversion to “the malfunctioning two-party system”, but that he should not be taken seriously as a candidate. Other sources have been more critical, taking jabs at his “big mouth” (大嘴 dàzuǐ), “puffing bull” (that is, boasting: 吹牛 chuīniú), and “nouveau riche” (土豪tǔháo) demeanor. On the other hand, a super cut video of Trump saying “China” for three minutes has been reposted over 19,000 times on Weibo and liked over 4,500 times as well.
While other Republican candidates have received less attention than Trump in China, much like in the states, virtually all major stories regarding the candidates have been available in Chinese. Even the first Republican Primary was available with subtitles for those interested. Furthermore, within hours of the second Primary coming to a conclusion, Chinese media outlets offered a variety of summaries and commentaries to the event. That said, in terms of popular interest Jeb Bush (杰布·布什 Jiébù bùshí) is the only other candidate that has received in any interest, and it’s not much. His initials bear a likeness to a Chinese internet slang term for male genitalia (#JB2016!#).
State run media outlet Xinhua gave a brief account of the debate focusing on the sensationalized aspects of the debates: rampant attacks on Trump. Capitalizing on such attacks, the article ended with Scott Walker’s (斯考特·沃克 sīkǎotè wòkè) jab that “We don’t need an apprentice in the White House — we have one right now.”
Whatever the result of such squabbling, China is paying attention.
Tired of US Politics? For a breakdown of Chinese politics, look here