BEIJING — Donald Trump's granddaughter Arabella could turn out to an asset for the U.S. president-elect, at least in China.
The main poem Arabella recites, “Sympathy for the Peasants,” is one learned by many Chinese toddlers as they begin to get a hold of the language.
Here's a translation:
Hoeing millet in the midday heat,
Sweat dripping to the earth beneath.
Do you know the food on your plate,
Each grain was hard-earned.
On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly accused China of stealing U.S. jobs, yet his brash style and supposed business acumen have won him some admirers here.
His daughter Ivanka may be even more popular, partly for what Chinese Netizens describe her “goddess” good looks — but also among people who think she is more open-minded than her father.
Indeed, she used to post regularly on Chinese social media before Trump announced his presidential campaign and had gained about 19,000 followers on Sina Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter, before deleting her account, according to Foreign Policy.
In July, the British newspaper the Independent revealed that most of the Ivanka Trump brand’s clothing was manufactured in China and Vietnam. But her attempts to break into China's luxury market have so far fizzled, with the Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry store in a high-end Beijing shopping mall forced to close last year, according to BuzzFeed News.
Arabella could also be a minor asset: Chinese people often appreciate foreigners who take the trouble to learn their language, and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has won approval for his efforts to master Mandarin.
“She is a lovely and smart girl,” one user wrote.
“This little girl's Chinese is pretty good,” another commented. “At least we can understand what poem she is reciting. A lovely little girl.”
Yet not everyone was convinced. Some pointed out that President Obama's half-brother, Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo, lives in China, while others pointed out that speaking Chinese did not mean all that much.
“It does not mean his granddaughter is friendly to China, although she has been speaking Chinese since she was young,” one Netizen posted. “Language is just a communication tool. Hope this lovely girl will love Chinese culture.”
Another joked: “Trump tries to know whether Chinese people secretly say bad words about him, so he lets his granddaughter study Chinese.”
Anyway, we thought it was sweet. Here's an earlier Instagram post of Arabella “working hard” on her Sunday morning Chinese lesson.
Xin Jin contributed to this report.