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Global leaders hope for reset on alliances, policies
2 min read.Updated: 09 Nov 2020, 06:08 AM ISTAP
Western and Asian allies express hope for a fresh start following Trump’s ‘American First’ trade policies, withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement and attacks on NATO and the WHO
World leaders on Sunday cheered Joe Biden’s election as US president as a chance to enhance cooperation on climate change, the coronavirus and other problems after four years of President Donald Trump’s rejection of international alliances.
Trump had yet to concede defeat, but Western and Asian allies expressed hoped for a fresh start following Trump’s “American First" trade policies, withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement and attacks on NATO and the World Health Organization.
In Asia, a region on edge about the strategic ambitions of China’s ruling Communist Party, leaders invoked “shared values" with Washington and expressed hope for close ties.
“I look forward to working with you to further strengthen the Japan-US Alliance and ensure peace, freedom, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond," said Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Twitter. President Moon Jae-in of South Korea said he looked forward to working together “for our shared values."
There was no immediate official reaction from Beijing, which is mired in conflicts with the Trump administration. After Trump said he won “by a lot", the Communist Party newspaper People’s Daily responded on Twitter, “HaHa."
President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, the self-ruled island Beijing claims as part of its territory, expressed hope to “further our friendship." Biden had congratulated Tsai on her reelection in January, saying Taiwan is “stronger because of your free and open society."
There also was no immediate reaction from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was friendly with Trump.
Most Western allies welcomed a fresh start with Washington. “We want to work in our cooperation for a new trans-Atlantic beginning, a New Deal," German foreign minister Heiko Maas tweeted.
Others expressed hope Biden might revive cooperation on health, climate and other issues following Trump’s rejection of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and pressure on Canada, Mexico, South Korea and other partners to renegotiate trade terms.
“I look forward to working with President-elect Biden, Vice President-elect Harris, their administration...as we tackle the world’s greatest challenges together," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was the target of personal insults by Trump, said on Twitter.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia told reporters he looked forward to a “great partnership" with Washington. He cited challenges including the coronavirus and “ensuring a free and open" Indo-Pacific region, a reference to China’s disputes with its neighbours over control of vast tracts of ocean.
Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan said he looked forward to working together to end illegal tax havens and on peacemaking in Afghanistan.
Other leaders who sent congratulations included German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Indian PM Narendra Modi.