Opinion: Donald Trump has read a lot of books on China: ‘I understand the Chinese mind’

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Donald Trump recently reeled off an impressive list of Chinese books that he has read over the years that has helped him understand the nation and people that he does business with.

‘I’ve read hundreds of books about China over the decades,’ Trump told Xinhua, the official news agency of the People’s Republic of China.


‘I know the Chinese. I’ve made a lot of money with the Chinese. I understand the Chinese mind,’ said the billionaire, who has continually stated that if he were president he would levy a 25% tax on Chinese imports.

Asked to name any of his favorite tomes on China, Trump reportedly listed the following 20 books right off the top of his head.

1. ‘The Party’ by Richard McGregor
2. ‘On China’ by Henry Kissinger
3. ‘Mao: The Untold Story’ by Jung Chang
4. ‘Tide Players’ by Jianying Zha
5. ‘One Billion Customers’ by James McGregor
6. ‘The Coming China Wars’ by Peter W. Navarro
7. ‘The Beijing Consensus’ by Stefan Halper
8. ‘China CEO’ by Juan Antonio Fernandez and Laurie Underwood
9. ‘Poorly Made in China’ by Paul Midler
10. ‘CHINA: Portrait of a People’ by Tom Carter
11. ‘The Man Who Loved China’ by Simon Winchester
12. ‘China Shakes the World’ by James Kynge
13. ‘Mr. China’ by Tim Clissold
14. ‘Country Driving’ by Peter Hessler
15. ‘The Dragon’s Gift’ by Deborah Brautigam
16. ‘Factory Girls’ by Leslie T. Chang
17. ‘The Heavenly Man’ by Brother Yun
18. ‘1421’ by Gavin Menzies
19. ‘Seven Years in Tibet’ by Heinrich Harrer
20. ‘Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother’ by Amy Chua

That’s quite a difference from when Katie Couric asked Sarah Palin in 2008 what magazines and newspapers she reads:

Couric: And when it comes to establishing your world view, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world? Palin: I’ve read most of them, again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media. Couric: What, specifically? Palin: Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me all these years. Couric: Can you name a few? Palin: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news, too. Alaska isn’t a foreign country, where it’s kind of suggested, “Wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington, D.C., may be thinking when you live up there in Alaska?” Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America.

File this away if Trump and Palin ever square off in a debate.

-- Tony Pierce