Why do so many Chinese people admire Donald Trump?


Jiayang Fan, a Chongqing native who is a staff writer for The New Yorker, explains the appeal of Donald Trump to young Chinese, discusses the prejudices against and sensitivities of Asian-Americans, and notes the best Chinese food in New York.

Donald Trump masks at a factory in Zhejiang Province, China

Jiayang Fan is a staff writer for The New Yorker who moved from Chongqing to North America when she was seven years old. Despite her inability to drink alcohol because of an acetaldehyde dehydrogenase deficiency common to many East Asians, she covered the cocktail bars scene — among other topics — for the magazine for several years as a contributor before joining the publication full-time in 2016.

She still occasionally writes restaurant and bar reviews, but her recent work has delved into China and its interactions with the world, especially the U.S. and Canada. In this episode of the Sinica Podcast, Jiayang talks with Kaiser and Jeremy about her article on Donald Trump, Trump’s appeal among young Chinese, and the similarities that some people perceive between him and Mao Zedong. She also discusses mainland Chinese attitudes toward Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution, being Chinese and writing for a prestigious American magazine, the prejudices against and sensitivities of Asian-Americans, and, of course, Chinese food in New York City.


Jeremy: Usborne children’s books, especially Shakespeare tales

Jiayang: Reading Tang poetry in Chinese or playing recordings of it for small children (start here if you’re new to the form).

The Mala Project restaurant in New York.

Kaiser: A rare concert by Cui Jian at Worker’s Stadium in Beijing on September 30, 2016.