Beijing, March 30: US presidential candidate and Republican front-runner Donald Trump is more popular in China than his rival and Democrat Party front-runner Hillary Clinton, according to a survey on Sunday.
Trump, who has on many occasions held China responsible for what he calls the US's current economic decline, found favour among 54 percent of the respondents, Global Times reported.
"He is... a businessman of pragmatism. Trump simply blames the economic problems of the US and the trade deficit on China," expert Li Fu said.
The survey was conducted online through the website Huangqiu.com and shows a rise in the popularity of the Republican candidate in China, already evident in the many online fan clubs that have sprung up, with names ranging from "Trump fan club" to "Great man Donald Trump."
"The poll has shown Chinese netizens' discontent over the Democratic Party's policy toward China," Wu Xinbo, director of the Centre for American Studies at Fudan University, said.
A shift in the foreign policy of the US with regards to the Asia-Pacific region, which began during Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state and is being continued by her successor, John Kerry, has been very unpopular in China and has coincided with a spike in military tensions between China and neighbouring countries, including the Philippines, Vietnam and Japan.
Meanwhile, Global Times earlier this month published a highly critical editorial on Trump's rise in the race to the White House, emphasising his "racist and extremist" character and warning of serious consequences if he were to become the next president of the US.