Anxiety sinks in as allies, foes weigh Trump’s win
BEIJING — The world gasped in collective disbelief Wednesday after the victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential race, with apprehensive allies seeking to put a brave face on a result they had dreaded and American adversaries exulting in an outcome they see as a potential turning point in global affairs
Within minutes of Trump’s triumph, congratulatory messages to the Republican nominee poured in from leaders around the world, both friend and foe alike, even as security councils convened emergency meetings and dumbfounded diplomats struggled to understand the implications of his win.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a telegram that, the Kremlin said, “expressed hope for joint work to steer Russia-U.S. relations out of crisis.”
News of the Republican’s victory was greeted with broad smiles and a round of applause in the lower house of the Russian parliament.
U.S. allies insisted that they would work closely with the new administration.
In Britain — where the Parliament earlier this year debated banning Trump from visiting — Prime Minister Theresa May said her nation and the United States had “an enduring and special relationship based on the values of freedom, democracy and enterprise.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had criticized Trump during the presidential campaign for showing intolerance toward Muslims, said that Trump’s victory was a “positive sign” and the “beginning of a new era in the United States.”
But beneath the assurances of business-as-usual, and even optimism in some quarters, was a deep anxiety that Trump’s win could unsettle the global order.
The terms “shock” and “nightmare,” which were trending on Twitter in Germany, appeared to reflect the sentiment among many observers and politicians in Berlin.
German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen called Trump’s victory a “severe shock.”
“I think Donald Trump also knows that this wasn’t a vote for him, but that it was much more a vote against Washington, against the establishment,” von der Leyen told public TV network ARD.
Concerns were also sharp in Brussels, the headquarters of NATO and the European Union, where Trump had been universally opposed, as well as in key Asian strategic allies such as Japan and South Korea.
But China’s state media chortled at how the elections revealed the decline of American democracy.
“The probably most divisive and scandalous election in American history has eroded voters’ faith in the two-party system, as many voters called it a game of money, power and influence,” wrote state-run news agency Xinhua.
Nowhere was the American election result felt more keenly than in Mexico, as the peso crumbled.
“It feels like our nightmare is here,” tweeted Jorge Guajardo, who was Mexico’s ambassador to China from 2007 to 2013.
Commuters pick up newspapers with the U.S. election results Wednesday in London.