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What Trump means for China

China Daily | Updated: 2016-11-11 07:53

Silent majority beats louder minority

What Trump means for China

Chu Yin is an associate professor at the University of International Relations, and a research fellow at the Center for China and Globalization.

The result of the US presidential election has shattered the dream of those who expected Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton to win. Given that the US' political system is designed to limit and divide the majority, it appears Trump represents the "silent majority" while Clinton speaks for the "vociferous minority".

Still, American voters' decision has gone against a number of experts' predications and opinion polls. The silent crowd, long absent in the country's game of power, stood up to the interest groups and their followers.

The rise of social media allowed those ignored ones to mobilize support for the candidate who they thought spoke for them. And the result shows their political participation has greater potential to sway the presidential election when the country is busy dealing with a slew of problems.

Quite surprisingly, the US elites were outmaneuvered by the majority instead of marginalizing the latter through back-door operations. Admittedly, populism is more likely to be the deciding factor when more people participate in democratic events, even if the outcome may not be the best. The result might be hard to swallow for many, but it is how the US democracy works.

Moreover, Trump's presidency could be a boon for China-US relations. The president-elect is a typical businessman who always puts tangible gains before hollow promises.

In other words, it is possible that he would pull the brakes on his predecessor Barack Obama's" rebalancing to Asia-Pacific" strategy, even the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, to avoid clashing with China, the world's second-largest economy. Rather, his focus could be on building pragmatic ties with China.

But in the long run, his supporters expect him to revive the manufacturing sector in the US, and that could exert extra pressure on China's industrialization.

 

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