Xi was featured on the list with a piece written by Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, a Mongolian politician. Although Elbegdorj wrote about China’s human rights abuses and that he “totally disagrees” with some of Xi’s policies like the assimilation policy which targets the Uighur minority, he also paid noticeable respect to the Chinese president.
“First, President Xi loves his country and his people dearly. When he invited me to China for a state visit, I asked him where I should go while there. He replied, ‘Come visit my ancestral home in Shaanxi province. Wonderful place.’ I added that I wanted to visit Inner Mongolia and meet a local family. He again replied very kindly. Second, President Xi has no arrogance. He treats people or counterparts from other countries as equals, although there is no doubt that he is the most influential politician in the world today,” Elbegdorj wrote.
While Trump was also featured on the list, his piece, written by former TIME editor Nancy Gibbs, was decidedly less flattering.
“In 2021, Trump arguably surpassed Nixon as a menace to the Constitution. American democracy catches its breath in between the lines of the founding text; it depends for its resilience and moral power on a shared commitment to both individual freedom and the common good. Trump’s only rule is ruthlessness; he sees norms as opportunities for vandalism, a window left open in our intricate constitutional structure that he can crash through,” Gibbs wrote.
She concluded “Nixon still leads Trump, by a count of 55 to 35, in the TIME cover competition. But history will judge which President most disfigured our politics and polity; that’s a race Trump is well-positioned to win.”
The difference in coverage was also highlighted by Washington Examiner reporter Tiana Lowe.
“You can’t make this up: on the left is how Time Magazine writes about Xi Jinping for its top 100, on the right is Donald Trump. However Bad you think the Orange Man is, he’s not the actual communist dictator committing literal genocide!” Lowe tweeted.
Conservative commentator Ian Miles Cheong tweeted, “TIME Magazine applauds Communist leader Xi Jinping, condemns Donald Trump in top 100 list.”
In May, it was originally reported that China Daily, a news agency of the Chinese Communist Party, paid more than $1.6 million for advertising in various American magazines. TIME Magazine received at least $700,000 according to the Washington Free Beacon.