One of the fears many Americans had about Donald Trump becoming president is how he would interact with leaders from around the world. His off-the-cuff remarks about his opponents in the Republican primary, and later in the general election, didn’t have the “presidential” tone that many expect from a politician.
Still, Trump was adamant that he would be able to work with leaders even in countries that he regularly verbally assaulted, such as China, Japan, and Mexico. As he was sworn in yesterday, the world reacted. While some celebrated at various balls in the D.C. area, and others protested and marched in the streets, foreign politicians made their first remarks regarding the new President of the United States.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was heard from early on with a post on Facebook that trashed the Obama administration for destroying relations between the U.S. and Russia. However, his conclusion seemed somewhat optimistic about the future:
The Obama administration has destroyed relations between the United States and Russia, which are at their lowest point in decades. This is its key foreign policy mistake which will be remembered by history.
We do not know yet how the new US administration will approach relations with our country. But we are hoping that reason will prevail. And we are ready to do our share of the work in order to improve the relationship.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe congratulated the new President. From the Japan Times –
In his congratulatory statement addressed to Trump, Abe said he looks forward to together tackling issues facing the world and ensuring the peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region.
The prime minister said he hoped to hold a summit with Trump as soon as possible to convey to the world the importance of the two countries’ alliance.
China, who was among the most vilified by Trump, took an entirely different approach and did everything they could to suppress coverage of the inauguration. The country’s communist party had it’s censors on hand and in instructions given to media outlets it was said plain and clear –
“It is forbidden for websites to carry out live streaming or picture reports of the inauguration.”
Over in Germany, there are varying views on Trump. Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel stated publicly that “I think we have to prepare for a rough ride.” He also took aim at Trump’s inaugural speech, saying “What we heard today were high nationalistic tones.”
Angela Merkel on the other hand had a more optimistic outlook and seems eager to build the relationship between Germany and the United States. “I believe firmly that it is best for all of us if we work together based on rules, common values and joint action in the international economic system, in the international trade system, and make our contributions to the military alliances.”
Mexico is understandably cautious about the new administration. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto congratulated Trump on his inauguration but added, “Sovereignty, national interest and protection of Mexicans, will guide relations with the new government of the United States.”
While some are loud and angry, many others are optimistic and looking forward to a different American foreign policy. If Trump delivers on his famous negotiating skills and puts the Art of the Deal to work, he may lead the world to a safer, more prosperous, and friendlier state.