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Twitter diplomacy not good for Trump

China Daily | Updated: 2017-01-09 07:13

Twitter diplomacy not good for Trump

US President-elect Donald Trump pauses as he talks to members of the media at Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, US, December 21, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

ALTHOUGH THE US CONGRESS tallied the Electoral College votes on Friday and officially declared Donald Trump has been elected president, a number of organizations are still planning demonstrations on Jan 20, the day of his inauguration. Beijing News commented on Saturday:

More than 100,000 people have registered their names to attend the Women's March on Washington, a Facebook event created by Teresa Shook, a retired attorney in Hawaii. The demonstration is expected to be the largest of all planned on Trump's first day in office if all online participants show up for the march. Its agenda ranges from immigrants' rights to police killings of African-Americans and, most importantly, equal rights for women.

Despite facing more than 100,000 online dissenters, who are planning an open demonstration on his inauguration day, the social media-savvy Trump is yet to fight back on Twitter. He seems busy defending his legitimacy as the next US president, after American intelligence authorities on Friday said Russian hackers had intervened in the presidential election to favor him.

That some 100,000 netizens have signed up for a mass demonstration on his inauguration day, in a way, indicates that Trump is not as popular as he thinks on the internet. His tweets, often provocative and biased, did play a role in soliciting online support during the presidential campaign.

Trump's Twitter politics has its downsides, too. He did manage to mobilize online support in his favor during the election, but so can those opposed to him.

Trump has conducted his "industrial policy" by bullying individual companies on Twitter: Ford cancelled a new $1.6 billion auto factory in Mexico and promised to increase production at home after a Tuesday tweet threatening to impose a "big border tax" on Ford's rival GM for manufacturing abroad.

But this kind of "governance" should stop after Jan 20 when Trump officially takes the baton from his predecessor Barack Obama, because it is neither practicable given the country's bureaucratic system nor the proper way to govern the largest economy in the world.

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