Foreign Reactions to Trump Presidency


Max Becker, Lily Merrit, and Angel Cruz

The news of the forthcoming Trump presidency was met with mixed emotions both domestically and abroad.

China’s response to the news of a Trump presidency was met with heavy censorship, and an expectation to maintain a healthy relationship between the two countries.

As is often the case in China, the coverage of the United States election was kept to a bare minimum, so as not to expose their citizens to the ideals and practices of Western Civilization. No live coverage of the election was provided, and all major news outlets were instructed to not have “excessive” coverage of the event. As a result, the outcome of the election mostly ended up as a secondary story, with most outlets instead opting to cover a meeting between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Vladimir Putin.

Nor did the Chinese foreign ministry extend their congratulations to Donald Trump, instead only being quoted as saying, “China is closely following the U.S. Presidential Election, and expects to maintain healthy Sino-U.S. relations with the new government.” The People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist party, described the election as dark, tasteless, chaotic, and that it “undeniably revealed the dark side of so-called democracy in the U.S.”

The news was not taken so lightly in South Korea and Japan, the U.S.’s most prominent allies in the East. Across South Korea and Japan, the stock markets immediately felt the results of the election, and began dropping accordingly. Shares in South Korea dropped to a four-month low, and the benchmark Korean Composite Stock Price dropped 2.25 percent. Meanwhile, in Japan, the Tokyo stock-market crashed when the Trump presidency became apparent, with the Nikkei Index dropping more than 5 percent. Sony and Nintendo, companies that rely on global sales, dropped 5 and 6 percent, respectively.

Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, has congratulated Donald Trump on winning the U.S. presidential election. This warm welcome suggests that the relationship with the two countries will be friendlier toward each other because Putin has shown his support for Trump during the election multiple times as well as calling him “brilliant” in the past. Trump has also praised the Russian leader for his “very strong control” over his country.

Putin was one of the first to send a congratulatory telegram to Trump, expressing his delight that a candidate seeking to restore relations between Russia and the U.S. has won.
“We understand that it will not be an easy path given the current state of degradation in the relations. And as I have repeatedly said, it’s not our fault that Russian-American relations are in such a poor state. But Russia wants and is ready to restore full-fledged relations with the United States,” Putin said in an interview with “The Mirror”. It was reported that Putin was later seen “celebrating with a glass of champagne” at a foreign ambassadors meeting in Moscow.

Europe’s reaction to the United State’s 2016 presidential election was overall impartial. French president, Francois Hollande, spoke of the election result as one that leads to a lot of uncertainty and, “urges vigilance because of statements made by Donald Trump.” France’s 2017 candidate for the anti-immigration National Front Party, Marine Le Pen’s reaction to the election, “”Long live President Trump. I dare to repeat that the election of Donald Trump is good news for our country. The American people want Donald Trump to be the people’s president. Today the United States, tomorrow France. Bravo!”

Britain’s reaction to Trump’s election remained neutral. British Prime Minister, Theresa May’s thoughts on United States’ new president and how the two country’s relations would be affected, if at all, were, “Britain and the United States have an enduring and special relationship based on the values of freedom, democracy and enterprise. We are, and will remain, strong and close partners on trade, security and defense.”

“Today, it is more important than ever to strengthen transatlantic relations,” said European Council President, Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. “EU-US ties are deeper than any change in politics. We’ll continue to work together, rediscovering the strength of Europe,” the European Union foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini assured.