In the U.S., Ivanka Trump has become a controversial because of concerns about possible conflicts of interest. But in China, Ivanka has become a celebrated figure for her beauty, her positive attitude and hard work, her devotion to her family, and her devotion to promoting China-U.S. friendship and cooperation. Ivanka is U.S. President Donald Trump’s soft-power card, and playing that card is winning some hearts and minds in China.
Ivanka inspires many young Chinese. On Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, there is even an online fan club dedicated to “Goddess Ivanka.” The online fan club has close to 13 thousand followers. One post shows a photo of Ivanka sitting between her father and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Oval Office Desk. In the comments section a Weibo user wrote, “Don’t become president, you’re a good princess.”
Trump’s soft-power card is charming China. A video of Ivanka’s daughter Arabella singing Chinese songs on the Internet went viral in China, attracting millions of views. Ivanka and her daughter came to the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., to attend a Spring Festival celebration. At the Mar-a-Lago summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Trump earlier this month, Ivanka’s daughter Arabella sang a traditional Chinese song, Mo Li Hua, and recited poetry for President Xi and his wife. It was another viral hit.
Just days ago, China’s Foreign Ministry weighed in on Ivanka’s effective charm offensive in response to a question about how China views her role in promoting relations between the two countries. “We think highly of all people…who devote themselves to promoting China-US friendship and cooperation, and we highly appreciate their efforts in this regard,” the spokesperson said.
On Weibo, The Global Times posted a man-on-the-street interview about Ivanka’s fashion line coming to China. “Here’s what Beijingers have to say about Ivanka wanting to come to China to sell her clothes,” the title reads. The video was filmed at the trendy Sanlitun Village, a major fashion hub in Beijing. One young woman said Ivanka has an excellent business mind, and some thought that the brand would be popular in Sanlitun. But one young man tied the success of the brand to her father. “It all depends on Donald Trump,” he said.
A screenshot of the Weibo account “Goddess Ivanka”