Chinese government media effusively celebrated the departure of outgoing President Donald Trump on Wednesday, describing the anti-communist leader as “negative and destructive” and exclaiming, “good riddance!”
The latter arrived via a post on Twitter from the Xinhua news agency, the Chinese Communist Party’s typically drier “hard news” outlet. While the Communist Party bans Chinese citizens from using American social media networks like Twitter, the government’s propagandists have full access to the outlet and regularly use it to post stories favorable to China.
The Xinhua post celebrating Trump’s departure was accompanied by a graphic and a link to a Xinhua article published last week that predicted, “the anti-China policy of the current U.S. administration will only end in failure.”
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) January 20, 2021
The Xinhua article also declared Trump and those who shared his opposition to the Communist Party “weak on the inside” and declared China’s “strength and determination” would secure it a victory in its quest for hegemony — a quest the Foreign Ministry regularly denies exists.
As president, Trump made opposition to the Communist Party’s myriad human rights atrocities, its attempts to colonize impoverished states in Latin America and Africa, and its promotion of authoritarianism at international venues like the United Nations the cornerstone of his foreign policy. Trump imposed tariffs on Chinese goods to weaken the Communist Party’s stranglehold on manufacturing, enhanced ties with states that China targeted under its “Belt and Road” debt trap plan, and withdrew from the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) in response to its poor handling of the Chinese coronavirus, fueled by its close ties to the Communist Party. On his last day in office, Trump administration Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that the genocide of Muslims in western China, millions of which have been trapped in concentration camps for years, was a “genocide.”
The Chinese Foreign Ministry responded to Pompeo by calling him a “clown” on Wednesday and claiming the genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslims in western Xinjiang province was “a conspiracy of evil politicians like Pompeo” and not reality.
As a result of Trump’s policies, China’s influence has waned significantly in the past four years and campaigns to defend the Uyghur Muslim people of western China have gained traction. Trump’s policies have also limited the rogue activity of Chinese allies like Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, and Cuba. In contrast, as a candidate, President-elect Joe Biden suggested that he would be less aggressive in combatting Communist Party influence, opting to “gather the rest of the world” rather than unilaterally act to contain Chinese influence.
Chinese state media have cautiously expressed hope Biden would return to the Obama-era “status quo” of policies towards China, which allowed the Communist Party to engage in extensive intellectual property theft, espionage, and other concerning behavior.
The Global Times, China’s more aggressive opinion propaganda publication, published two articles consolidating alleged responses from Chinese “netizens” to prompts about Trump on Weibo, a Chinese social media outlet. The Communist Party strictly monitors speech on Weibo, WeChat, and other Chinese social media networks to prevent any opinions that differ with that of the Party from appearing online. Given this reality, the Global Times found that Weibo users had reached an “overwhelming consensus … of negativity and mockery” towards Trump.
“The most common words and phrases mentioned under the Global Times posts include destruction, dishonest, selfish, populism, McCarthyism, unilateralism, protectionism, anti-globalization, untrustworthy, messy, crazy, arrogant,” the newspaper claimed, “uncertainty, low-credit, funny, laughable, gravedigger of US hegemony, and enemy to pro-US sycophants.”
The Global Times also claimed that some Chinese believed Trump to be secretly a Communist Party agent attempting to destroy the United States and referred to him as “Comrade Jianguo,” meaning “build the country.”
The Global Times‘ stable of Party-approved “experts” also disparaged Trump, claiming that the president had “brought unprecedented destruction to the legal legitimacy and moral legitimacy of the U.S.” Paramount among Trump’s listed sins is heralding in an era of “grievous levels of individualism” in America.
China Daily, another Communist Party newspaper, accused President Trump of a “coup attempt” after the January 6 riot in the U.S. Capitol and accused him of destroying the “foundations of [America’s] democracy.”
“What awaits the members of the outgoing administration after all the power plays they engaged in over the past four years will be humbling. But they will not be missed and will receive little sympathy given their inability to pause and reflect on their ideological rigidity and its consequences,” China Daily gloated.
Trump departed the White House early Wednesday morning after delivering remarks thanking his supporters for the privilege of serving in the presidency.
“I wish the new administration great love and great success. I think they’ll have great success. They have the foundation to something really spectacular,” Trump said in his speech, promising supporters, “we’ll be back in some form.”