Asian Conversations - an online magazine to explore Asia's future

After Biden his time, he arrives

10 November 2020 : It was a cliff-hanger but in the end the blue was all over the map like a detergent mopping up the Covid red. The Donald saw red and went to court. The rest of the world cheered and went about its business. What did the world have to say about a Trump ouster? China and Russia remained tight-lipped in the immediate aftermath while the Weibo social media platform in China peaked at over one billion views for the hashtag 'Biden national address'.

What's On Weibo reports the hashtag page 'American Elections' garnered a staggering three billion views. No lack of interest then though the view was cautiously optimistic. China's unofficial mouthpiece Global Times hinted not much would change by way of policy but touched upon Briden's friendly unassuming manner at some length: 'But many more have remembered him for being the visiting US vice president who dined on noodles in an unassuming Beijing eatery in 2011. .. his name has been trending on Chinese social media platforms, with most netizens speculating what his policy priorities might be. In what has become known as "noodle diplomacy," Yao's Chao Gan, the family-run restaurant he visited, went viral again. '

C Raja Mohan writing in the Indian Express said it was an 'illusion' that India has any say in the US elections. 'it is important to remember that the elections are about American and not Indian politics,' he writes. There is room for optimism, he believes, as apart from top cabinet positions: 'Most of the other sub-cabinet officials too would come from the Obama stable or the Congressional staff. Thanks to India’s wider and deeper engagement with the US in the last two decades, India will find a lot of familiar faces across the administration.'

The Straits Times of Singapore was largely sympathetic towards Biden: 'His to-do list is significantly long. Mr Trump came into the presidency with no previous experience in public office. That lack of experience in government has been costly for the US, particularly in the way the administration failed to substantially and consistently restore the economy at home and, most recently, ignored scientific advice in handling the Covid-19 pandemic.'

The Japan Times remained sanguine but practical in its assessment, saying, 'In some ways, the results are almost secondary. In the absence of an electoral tsunami that favored Democratic candidate Joseph Biden, the winner inherits a deeply divided country, one in which neither side believes in the legitimacy of the other.' The paper sympathises with the impossible task ahead for Joe Biden and is particularly scathing when it comes to Trump's antics: ' For much of the world, Trump’s first four years resembled nothing so much as a slow-motion car crash.'

Understandably, a close US ally, South Korea, is watching with interest and expects a business bosst with Biden. The Korea JoongAng Daily reports a buoyant mood at the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry: 'The new Biden administration poses less uncertainty than does the outgoing Donald Trump administration in international trade, and the new environment will increase the overall export volume for Korea and globally.'

The Times of Israel sees Biden as a 'veteran friend of Israel' though he opposes settlemnta and may be at odds on Iran. Al Jazeera takes a positive view as well, welcoming Biden's emotional capacity and sensitivity. It writes: 'The Democratic nominee has learned a significant amount from his trying experiences of loss and pain. At a time when thousands around the US are reeling from the loss of loved ones, Biden is the candidate who has over the years developed an authentic sense of compassion.'

The Guardian quoted Iran's Rouhani as watching closely in the hope that Iran might win some reparation for the sanction damage from a Biden administration. The newspaper quoted Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as saying, 'The US election result would have “no effect” on Tehran’s policies towards Washington.' – Asian Conversations