Zhibo Qiu, thediplomat.com
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Trump’s overall policies are a mixed bag for China, but his stance on U.S. leadership opens doors for Beijing.
Looking at the global leadership competition from a broader sense, Trump’s isolationist tendencies and his unpopular image could threaten U.S. soft power and public diplomacy in the long run. For example, the U.K. Parliament seriously debated banning Trump from entering the country early this year.
Moreover, Trump’s strict immigration policies could push more young talents back home – including to China. According to China’s Ministry of Education, about three-quarters of Chinese students now choose to return home after finishing their degrees overseas. This momentum might be accelerated during a Trump’s presidency, as Trump as criticized specialized visas that allow high-skilled workers into the United States.
By contrast, Beijing is easing its immigration rules and providing competitive packages to attract global talents. If the United States is about to close its doors, China is ready to become the next destination for promising young talents from all over the world. Over time, this flow of immigrants might gradually enhance China’s global leadership and increases its soft power.