Clinton has had a tough stance on China during her time as the U.S. Secretary of State, but Chinese women polled by Caixin say they connect with her despite this

By staff reporter Coco Feng


The recent high-profile shooting at a gay bar in the United States and the brutal killing of a female parliamentarian in Britain on June 16 have added a further twist to the already heated American presidential election campaign that is closely followed by Chinese media.

Hillary Clinton, now the first female presumptive nominee from a major U.S. political party, is a household name in China. Her winning streak in the primaries have made headlines in China and as she continues to trade barbs with the maverick Republican candidate Donald Trump, how do Chinese women view her rise to power in this unprecedented election season? Do they take her success as a symbolic shattering of the glass ceiling in politics, or is she, regardless of gender, simply perceived as just another presidential candidate with a clear track record on China policy?

Caixin talked to several Chinese women about their views on Clinton. Following are excerpts of their answers.

Wen Di

Wen Di
Wen Di

25, Researcher at the Faculty of Social Sciences of The University of Hong Kong

What significance does Hillary Clinton’s presumptive nomination have for women around the world, if any?

A female can also reach the top position in their field, if she is good enough.

I think Hillary has shown the power of women by becoming the presumptive nominee. To have that power one doesn’t have to be masculine or act like men, but resort to the strengths that come from being a woman.

I was impressed by an interview she gave to the weekly U.S. magazine, Glamour. She said when she served as the Secretary of State, one of her primary tasks was to build relationships around the world. She got along well with people partly because of her tenderness as a woman. The network she had cultivated has helped her as she climbed the political ladder.

She is an example of how women can leverage on their power, tenderness and kindness, to be successful.

Do you follow the U.S. election process? What impact would a Clinton victory have on China-U.S. relation?

Sino-American ties might be further strained, judging from her views and policies when she was the Secretary of State. If she is elected for the top job, she might have the same tough stance, which might worsen the South China Sea situation (where China is contesting territorial claims by the Philippines and Vietnam over disputed islands).

Do you keep track of her campaign promises?

When she was the Secretary of State, her attitude was “pivot to Asia”, in which the United States acted as a counterweight to stop China and Russia from expanding in the region. To oppose China’s actions in the South China Sea, the U.S. conducted more military drills and infrastructure development in its own bases in Hawaii and Guam.

As for domestic affairs, Hillary stood for Obamacare (to reform health insurance). As for immigration, she wants some change too, but she is not as xenophobic as Donald Trump (the presumptive Republican candidate). She wants more institutionalized immigration policies to attract top-level talent, instead of the current populist immigration stance.

Pick one word you think could best describe her: Versatile.

She displayed different traits, while wearing different hats. She showed her concern for children with her push for laws protecting children’s rights as a First Lady.

But, the tough side of her personality emerged when she ran for a senate position from New York and became the Secretary of State thereafter.

She is an elegant woman, but she is also a real person: her fashion taste doesn’t work sometimes and she is a fan of mobile phone games. But when she is debating with Donald Trump, she stands out for her sharpness and humor.

I don’t support all of Hillary’s opinions, but I appreciate her as a person with wide-ranging capabilities.

Is there a Chinese female politician that you admire?

Lei jieqiong.

She is the former vice chair of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Committee (the top advisory body to the government). One of her main contributions was to make sociology a major in universities in China. Read more

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