Republican nominee Donald Trump has taken a strong stance on China, but that hasn’t stopped thousands of Chinese Americans from rallying around the Trump banner.
“Trump is tough on China, but there is no animosity towards the Chinese people,” Dr. Wei Zhang, a computer engineering professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and the Chinese Americans for Trump (CAFT) Virginia chairman, told The Daily Caller News Foundation Saturday.
“The past eight years have been ‘too liberal.’ We don’t need to continue that,” Zhang added. “Hillary Clinton would just be a continuation of what we have seen under Obama.”
CAFT Virginia has around 300 members. The national CAFT movement, however, has around 6,000 followers. The nationwide movement is part of the National Diversity Coalition for Trump (NDCT), which claims that “Trump’s vision for the United States includes creating opportunities for men, women, and children of all racial, economic, and educational backgrounds.”
“For the past decade or so, the Democrats’ pursuit of excessive political correctness, over-pandering to illegal immigration and racism in the name of Affirmative Action have deeply shaken our belief in the American Dream. To us, they are turning America into a less free, less innovative and less competitive country with their every legislative move. In short, America is in danger of decline in their hands,” CAFT asserts.
“The Obama administration has made the world more chaotic,” Zhang told TheDCNF.
Tensions between the U.S. and China have skyrocketed over the past few years, with issues ranging from the Korean Peninsula to the South China Sea. Managing the U.S.-China relationship will be an important issue for the next president. Zhang believes that Trump has what it takes to repair U.S.-China relations. “Trump is a businessman. He is practical. Chinese leaders are practical.”
“Hillary would probably just make things worse,” Zhang explained. “Obama and Hillary approach China with ideology rather than practicality. It’s a Cold War mentality, and China is treated as the enemy. There is no reason why China and the U.S. should not cooperate on issues where our interests overlap, such as counterterrorism.”
“Chinese people and American conservatives share many of the same traditional values, like the importance of family,” he said. “The U.S. and China have the ability to come together on important issues and cooperate.”
Zhang and other CAFT members view Trump’s wall on the U.S.-Mexican border as a practical solution to the growing illegal immigration problem. “We are law-abiding citizens, legal immigrants, and their children. All our life, we have been told that if we work hard, play by the rules and contribute to society, we will achieve the American Dream. So, that is what we did,” CAFT argues.
Zhang said he believes illegal immigrants are people who break the rules, do nothing to contribute to alleviating the national debt, take jobs, and pose a threat to America’s national security. Zhang is a first generation immigrant who has lived in the U.S. for almost 20 years.
Among Chinese Americans, there is also a growing concern about Affirmative Action and the quotas put on top schools. “Chinese Americans are a small minority, yet there are quotas for how many Chinese Americans certain schools can accept. This is racist,” Zhang told TheDCNF. He said that Trump can fix this problem, but Clinton can’t.
“The Democrats want to pass laws that restrict college admissions based solely on skin color and ethnicity, so that our children have to get a 4.5 GPA to get into high-ranked state colleges while an illegal immigrant kid only needs a 2.5. That is not the America we knew and loved,” CAFT says.
In reference to Clinton’s missing emails, Zhang admitted that he isn’t an expert on the subject and only knows what he has seen in the news. Nonetheless, he feels that the numerous questions surrounding the situation make her an “untrustworthy candidate.” He acknowledged her experience in foreign policy and politics, but Zhang, like other CAFT members, believes that Clinton is unlikely to steer the country in a positive direction.
Not all Asian Americans share CAFT’s views though. In fact, a survey conducted around June showed that 61 percent of registered Asian American voters had an unfavorable view of Trump. Only 19 percent had a positive view of the Republican nominee.
“The main reasons right now that Asians are more likely to be Democratic is that Republicans are viewed as exclusionary, that they exclude people from the social fabric,” Stanford University Professor Neil Malhotra told The Straits Times.
“We’re trying to get the word out and promote Trump among Chinese and Asian Americans,” Zhang told TheDCNF after a gathering Saturday. If the above views and statistics still ring true for the majority of Asian Americans, then CAFT still has a lot of work to do before the elections in November.
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