Trump reaches out to Chinese voters

Updated: 2016-11-07 11:59

By Wang Linyan in New York(China Daily USA)

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Trump reaches out to Chinese voters

Vincent Xie was excited on Nov 2 when he received a letter from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

"We got more than 8,000 followers in less than one hour after we put the letter online. Now the number is almost 60,000," Xie, founder of Civil Rights WeChat account and PhD holder from an American university, said on Saturday.

"The Chinese community is very excited to see the letter. Most responses are positive."

The letter, signed by Trump and translated into Chinese, stressed the common values shared by the Chinese community and Trump.

"For too long, Chinese Americans have been ignored by Washington," it reads. "I have a lot of respect for Chinese people and Chinese Americans especially. We share a lot of the same values. Work hard. Push our children to be good - no drinking, no drugs and do well in school. Make our parents and grandparents proud of us. Work to build a lasting legacy.

"I will make our schools better and safer," the letter continues. "We will build a wall and make a strict screening process to keep out terrorists. I will lower taxes and bring down our deficit by encouraging American companies to bring their trillions of tax sheltered profits back.

"When this election is over, I will work to bring our country together to be greater than before," Trump said. "But this can only happen with your help! Help me make America great again!"

The letter encourages viewers to make donation varying from $6 to $200.

A day before Election Day, the grueling race between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton has become even more intense since the FBI announced it was reopening its investigation of Clinton's newly discovered emails on Oct 28. But on Sunday, FBI Director James Comey said nothing was found that would have any criminal consequences.

In the latest average of polls, Clinton holds a lead of 46.6 percent to 44.8 percent for Trump.

The Chinese-American community, with a population of more than 4 million, which accounts for nearly a quarter of the Asian-American population in the US, according to a Pew Research report in 2013 has become a battleground for minority votes from both sides.

With widespread and easy access to Chinese followers, WeChat has become a good channel to reach potential voters.

Xie said he received the letter from Trump after he asked for it when someone from Trump's campaign team approached Xie, telling him that Trump's campaign appreciated the support from the Chinese-American community and wanted to reach out to more Chinese Americans.

He created the account in California in late 2013. Last month, it has about 2.38 million different views. Between Nov 2, 2015 and Nov 1, it has more than 15.23 million different views.

And 76.4 percent of the followers live in the US, according to its recent survey.

Xie said he supports Trump because of the Supreme Court.

"The Supreme Court is the most important issue in this campaign," said Xie.

"I don't like SCA-5. I believe everyone should be judged only by the content of their character instead of their color. Now Dems are going the opposite way."

Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 in California would ask voters to consider removing California Proposition 209's ban on using race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in recruitment, admissions and retention programs at public universities and colleges in the state.

"In my opinion, candidates should respect each other and supporters of candidates should respect each other," he said.

Cliff Li, advisor of the Asian Pacific American Advisory Committee for the Trump campaign, said Americans are "polarized" politically.

"The momentum is good for Trump," said the executive director of the National Committee of Asian American Republicans who lives in both South Florida and the Greater Washington area. "Hillary has more offices in swing states and more surrogates than Trump has. But her advantage is declining."

"I dislike Trump's temperament, but I feel he's the one, between Hillary and Trump, to bring the country in the right direction," said Li, citing Trump's 100-day contract with the American voter and Hillary's plan for the first 100 days.

Trump released a plan on Oct 22 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, which included proposing a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress and a five-year ban on White House and congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service.

Clinton pledged in her 100-day plan to make the boldest investments in American infrastructure since Dwight D. Eisenhower.

On Saturday, several leaders from the Chinese, Latino and African-American communities in New York held a rally in support of Trump in front of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

Daniel Lou, co-founder of the Chinese American Alliance for Trump and co-chair for Saturday's rally, said he decided to support Trump when he heard Trump make his nomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

"Trump said he wants to break political correctness and restore law and order. It's very important to the US," said Lou.

For Tian Wang, founder of Chinese Americans for Trump (CAFT) and one of his Asia Pacific advisers, said it is most urgent for Trump to win votes in swing states.

On Saturday, he had CAFT leaders from Connecticut, Washington and Pennsylvania chapters and volunteers visiting households in Pennsylvania to get votes out for Trump.

"We visited 15,000 houses, I think Trump has 60 percent chance to win Pennsylvania," Wang said. "I think Trump cares about Chinese Americans. If he wants to get their votes, he should talk more to them."