Newspaper featuring a photo of US President-elect Donald Trump at a news stand in Beijing. Photo: AFP/Greg Baker
Newspaper featuring a photo of US President-elect Donald Trump at a news stand in Beijing. Photo: AFP/Greg Baker

An editorial discussing Trump’s China policy, published on Wednesday in the Global Times, was translated largely word for word for an English version published Thursday. But the translation of Renmin University professor Jin Canrong’s commentary curiously decided to leave out several paragraphs, as well as change the headline.

“After Trump secures his position, he may be tougher on China”, the original title reads, only to be toned down to ask an English language audience, “How will Trump adjust Asia-Pacific policy?”

The English version goes on to omit a paragraph about Russia, which said that “[Trump] wants to develop good relations with China and Russia. It’s just that regarding US-Russia relations, he hasn’t really straightened out how he will do that, constantly falling into the swamp of “Russia Gate,” unable to get out.”

It also left out a paragraph describing how China has deftly managed the relationship with Trump:

[The surprisingly successful start to China’s relationship with Trump] can’t be separated from China’s own position and hard work. Firstly, China already has a lot of power. Looking back at the countries that Trump has “bullied,” for example Mexico, South Korea, Australia, Germany, etc, they all have weak points, they all depend on the United States and have few options in the face of Trump’s “rudeness.” As a smart businessman, Trump is well versed in the idea of “choosing the soft persimmon to sqeeze,” and knows that hastily picking a fight with China is not necessary. China also fully displayed its tolerance and foresight, sticking to principles while not seizing on Trump’s every word. At the same time, China worked hard to develop good relations with Trump’s team, exhibiting China’s diplomatic capabilities.

In conclusion, the Chinese version also emphasized the role career diplomats in the US, once finally in place, will have in making Beijing’s relationship with Washington more “troublesome,” a point that was left out of the closing sentences of the English version.

Interestingly, the English language version said in conclusion that it is Trump’s need to shift domestic attention, not the influence of career diplomats that threatens the bilateral relationship.