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Chinese students weigh in on 'unusual' race

Four interviews show confusion with U.S. candidates

By Bonnie Meibers, The Miami Student

By most standards, the 2016 presidential election has been unusual. Americans and international citizens alike share this sentiment. Perhaps the most unusual of all factors to international students at Miami are the two candidates that America has chosen.

"Why would people choose two bad final candidates at the end?" said sophomore Olsen Cheung.

Cheung is from Hong Kong, China. And while he is not able to vote in this presidential elections and hasn't paid attention to America's presidential elections in the past, he has been paying attention to the upcoming election because it is "a national joke."

"I thought House of Cards was exaggerated," he said. "But now I don't really know."

Like Cheung, sophomore Karl Song from Shanghai, China has also not followed previous presidential elections. This is only his second year in America. However, he has paid close attention to the current election and is not a fan of either candidate.

"If you say you're going to make America great again, be a man or a woman of your word," Song said. "If you want to be president, keep your word."

Junior Wenjia Qin is from Shenzhen, China. She admits that since she is not a big fan of either candidate she did not tune into the debates and does not keep up closely with what the candidates are doing. She does see defects in both candidates, however.

Clinton's email scandal, Qin said, makes Clinton a risky choice for president. She thinks that it shows dishonesty in the political system and said that from what she has heard, Clinton is not considering to improve conditions for the working class.

Qin also mentioned Trump's incendiary comments on women and other races. She takes issue with Trump's plan to build a wall between Mexico and the United States.

"I think his plan seems impractical and it is fatal to world peace," Qin said.

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But she does not think one candidate is more trustworthy than the other. She had few nice things to say about both.

"Overall, I just think they are both trying to fake it up in order to get more votes," said Qin.

If he had to pick between Trump or Clinton, Cheung said he would have to choose Trump.

"I'd say most of us college students support Donald [Trump]," he said.

He cannot trust Clinton because of her leaked emails and the scandals that continue to come up surrounding her. However, that decision is not an easy one for him.

"I feel guilty," he said. "I feel guilty supporting either side."

Song feels the same way. If he had to vote, he would turn in a ballot for Trump. He thinks that Clinton is a liar and some things she does make him feel shame about America.

However, first-year Angel Thwe from Yangon, Burma, feels that the only reason to vote for Donald Trump is if someone hates Hillary more.

"I feel like if you're comparing the two candidates, Hillary [Clinton] is a much better choice," she said.

Back in Burma, Thwe said that most of her friends and family are also supporters of Clinton. This is different from Song's experience. He says that not many of his peers in China care about the presidential election.

Here at school, Thwe personally sees a bleak outcome if Trump is elected.

"I feel like Hillary [Clinton] would be more open-minded about immigrants and foreign policy in general," Thwe said. "If Donald Trump wins, I think all of the other countries will be laughing at America."

Song said that he personally doesn't believe the election will change much.

"I will still recognize this country as the first power on the planet," he said. "I don't think the election will change that."