When one thinks of the teachings of the Buddha – inner peace, acceptance of suffering – the first figure that comes to mind usually isn’t Donald Trump.
And yet, it exists: a porcelain statue of Mr Trump sitting cross-legged like the Enlightened One, available to purchase on the Chinese shopping website Taobao.
“Most people just bought it for fun,” the Trump Buddha’s seller told Global Times, adding that dozens of the statues have already sold.
The statue comes in two sizes, for prices that would make The Donald proud: $153.55 for the 5-foot-tall version, or $614.67 for 14 feet.
A product description on Taobao says Trump Buddha “knows Buddhism better than anyone”, and promises that putting him in your office will “make your company great again”.
One buyer, Li Guoqiang, said he hopes the statue will bring good luck to his Beijing construction firm.
"I thought it was a really comical thing to have in the office,” Li told Insider. “I can’t say I’m a Trump fan, but he looks quite peaceful there, doesn’t he?"
Li said he plans to place the statue in his office’s bathroom.
China has a rocky relationship with former President Trump. Though at the beginning of his term he lavished praise on the country’s leader, Xi Jinping, the US president later subjected the country to multiple trade wars and blamed it vociferously for the coronavirus epidemic.
However, that has not appeared to dampen a certain fascination the Chinese hold for Mr Trump as a character. In 2016, for example, a bird resembling then-candidate Trump went viral on Chinese social media.
Some in China view the former president as a colourful icon of selfishness. An unnamed buyer of the Trump Buddha statue took that line of thinking.
“Trump can also be regarded as a representative of an era, and extreme egoism,” the Shanghai resident told Global Times. “Now the era has passed, but I want the statue to remind me: Don’t be too Trump.”
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