The US election has gained 9.02 billion views on top Chinese social media site Weibo as netizens respond to the political event by sharing memes, comments and creating videos. However, on the day that voters went to the polls, a hashtag related to the US pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement had obtained more views than the election itself with many netizens criticising the President’s attitude towards the environment.
Many Chinese netizens have taken to social media to make fun of the long, drawn-out election process with some commenting that the election is far more interesting than any TV show.
“If Biden is elected, I can really see China-US relations goes smoother, as Beijing is For-Biden City”A Chinese netizen’s joke online
Although Trump’s term in office has been dominated by escalating US-China tensions including a trade war and sanctions on Chinese tech companies, many Chinese people hope that Trump will win the election. A combination of reasons are behind this: Trump will further damage America’s image which will benefit China; concerns that Biden will be more detrimental to US-China relations; and for pure entertainment. Netizens think that Biden will provide a more “boring” presidency than another four years of Trump due to his erratic personality.
Nonetheless, there are also those who favour Biden and think that he will provide a less strained relationship between China and the US. However, regardless of their opinion, it is clear that netizens definitely have more to say about Trump.
Trump is often referred to as Dong Wang (懂王), “the Know-King,” on Chinese social media due to his tendency to claim that “nobody knows more about xxx than I do”. He is also often nicknamed Chuan Jianguo (川建国) on Weibo, which means “Build China Trump” as netizens believe that his outlandish words and actions only humiliate America and further accelerate the rise of China. As such, many netizens consider him “America’s gift to China”.
Chinese netizens know less about Biden or Baideng (白等), which literally means “wait in vain”. Biden’s name has been the basis of a popular meme that has been circulating on Chinese social media:
A friend of Trump tells him to go to bed early because “it is Biden (Baideng), no matter how long you wait, its Biden (Baideng).”
There has been little comment from Chinese politicians on the election or its outcome. However, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said that he “hope[s] the new U.S. administration will meet China halfway” at a press conference on Thursday.