What Does China Think of Barack Obama?
I am curious about how Chinese people view Obama’s election. Are they excited? How much do they know about him? Do they think that he will be good for Sino-US relations? Sorry for all the questions but I am writing a paper about the impact of Obama’s election worldwide and I would appreciate any insights that you could give me.
Meg in Colorado Springs
Jean Answers Meg’s Question
Thank you for your interesting question. In fact, China seems to be buzzing with excitement about the election of Barack Obama. Students that we have spoken with overwhelmingly supported Obama are are thrilled that America has finally elected a minority to the highest office in the nation.
With that said, it is clear at least to me that few here know much about Obama. I asked a group of college students recently what they knew about Obama’s plans to deal with the financial crisis or his stance on China. Not one person was able to tell me anything about him other than “he is America’s first black President.” I was also surprised to discover that no one remembered Obama’s strong urging of President Bush not to attend the Olympic Games in Beijing in August.
Thus, it seems that while China, like most of the world, has been caught up in all of the media hype surrounding Obama, the people here do not really understand him as a politician.
By the way, our own Robert Vance covered some of these issues back in July when he wrote an article entitled “Is China Ready for Barack Obama?” While I do not necessarily agree with all of his points, I think many of his observations are still relevant.
As always, you can add comments at the bottom. I would love to hear from other foreign teachers who may have a different take on how Obama is being viewed in China.
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