US expats in China using world view in vote for presidency

Published:  28 Sep at 6 PM
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Tagged: USA, China
Americans living and working in China are finding they’re viewing the upcoming presidential election with a world view rather than as a purely domestic agenda.

Shanghai’s Boxing Cat Brewery was the scene last weekend of a Democrats Abroad event held to register US expat voters for the upcoming presidential election. Democrats Abroad is counted as a US state for voting purposes with 21 delegates up for grabs, a similar number to those in Alaska and Wyoming.

Overseas supporters of the Democrat Party have been able to vote for a nominee since 1976, whilst the Republican Party only seeks unofficial input from expat members via a straw poll held online. The Shanghai event was unique in that US expats who’d been living and working in China found they were viewing this year’s contest with a global rather than domestic perspective.

Several expats reported they’d come to view US politics as a part of the global picture, having shifted their focus from purely domestic issues to the importance of a world view of events. Others said that, as unofficial representatives of their home country, they’d developed a stronger sense of responsibility for policies put forward by the US government. Being international, one added, makes it easier to understand other nationalities’ views on US politics and how they pan out on the global stage.

Notwithstanding their own changes of stance on presidential elections, US expats understand why their compatriots living in the USA vote for candidates who focus on domestic issues during their campaigns. However, the majority of those living in China realise fully the need for the USA to engage with the whole world.

As regards the upcoming election, the general feeling at the event seemed to be the choice is a ‘lose-lose’ situation. Clinton, it seems, holds little appeal for these expat voters, whilst Trump’s lack of diplomatic expertise is scary, to say the least. One expat told reporters he’s expecting a Trump victory to bring on poor international relations overall, whilst another said he was terrified Trump would start a nuclear war.
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