Americans are not the only ones on the edge of their seats waiting for the U.S. election result. In China, all eyes are on the tightly contested race between Trump and Biden.
“No matter who wins the election, there are a lot of uncertainties in fields such as the economy, which can lead to a volatile [stock market], so I’m paying close attention to the election,” said Sunday Li, a market researcher in China.
Chinese authorities feign indifference. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Nov. 4 that “the U.S. election is a domestic affair. China has no position on it.”
Chinese media staff told Radio Free Asia that they have received notice from the Chinese Communist Party, asking them to “follow state media sources.” The notice also warned them not to translate foreign media coverage without official approval and “not to inflame excessive emotions, and prevent public opinion from becoming heated and sidetracked.”
The Chinese regime fears any rise in public emotion that can switch tracks and turn on the regime itself. But this doesn’t mean they aren’t closely watching the election.
Election-related news was trending high on Chinese social media. It occupied the second and the seventh of the top 10 discussions on the Chinese social media platform Weibo on Friday.
Beijing-based veteran Chinese journalist Gao Yu said the Chinese, including Communist Party elites, are all very passionate about the election.
With sparse media coverage, they turned to social media.
“Because I’m on WeChat, a couple of chat groups I joined are full of second-generation communist elites. There are also some from the military, because my husband and my brother, they are both from the military. A bunch of intellectuals are also discussing it and many of them are supporting Trump, ” said Gao Yu.
A Voice of America report explains that even among Communist Party elites, many are dissatisfied with regime leader Xi Jinping’s hardline approach, but no one in China dares to speak up.
They see Trump as the only one tough enough to take on Xi Jinping.
Many ordinary Chinese do not have a clear preference on which candidate they want to win and just watch with curiosity.
A Chinese citizen called Duan said: “We heard there will be protests and lawsuits coming so I’ll just wait for the follow-up and watch for fun. Chinese people enjoy being spectators.”