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The US president-elect and Russia’s political trajectory, Tearing up the rule book, Threats will be neutralized, A darkness has descended, A sad day for Africa

A roundup of global commentary for the Nov. 21, 2016 weekly magazine.

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A billboard showing a picture of US President-elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Danilovgrad, Montenegro, Nov. 16, 2016.

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The Moscow Times / Moscow

The US president-elect and Russia’s political trajectory

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“The bulwark of liberal democracy is sinking...,” writes Mikhail Fishman. “When Russian parliamentarians stood and applauded the news of [Donald Trump’s] victory, this was the exact sentiment they were cheering.... [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is now heaving a sigh of relief.... These have been difficult times for Putin as a leader. Russians are finally beginning to feel the effects of [Russia’s] international isolation. And a fair degree of Western unity ensured that this status quo was unlikely to change.... This new Trumpworld is a global mess, and taking advantage of the disorder looks much more rational as a strategy. An outcast yesterday, Vladimir Putin might even start seeing himself as the first among equals on the global scene. If he ever had doubts about running for another presidential term, now he will not hesitate.”

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South China Morning Post / Hong Kong

Tearing up the rule book

“Boy, a Trump presidency! It’s going to be the best reality TV on earth, and right inside the White House...,” writes Alex Lo. “Meanwhile, I can’t help but think Presidents Vladimir Putin [of Russia], Xi Jinping [of China] ... and Trump will get along quite well personally. This is despite Trump’s criticism of China for being a currency manipulator, and for stealing American jobs and intellectual property. Trump is strangely popular in China, may be [sic] more so than in his own country. We have Chinese chat groups like ‘Donald Trump Super Fans Club’ and ‘God Emperor Trump’.... It may be the end of the world as we know it, but it’s going to be one hell of a ride to the apocalypse.”

The Telegraph / London

Threats will be neutralized

“The appointment of Donald J Trump as the next Commander-in-Chief of the world’s most powerful military machine should herald a dramatic shift in Washington’s approach to global conflict...,” writes Con Coughlin. “Mr Trump’s first priority, as he stated on numerous occasions during the election campaign, will be to focus all his energy on defeating [Islamic State].... Dealing with Russia’s resurgent military could prove more problematic, but Mr Trump has said time and again he wants to engage with Putin, rather than ignore him, which was very much [President] Obama’s style.... The other major priority for Mr Trump will be to rebuild the strength of the American military, which is central to his pledge to ‘make [America] great again.’ ”

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El Universal / Mexico City

A darkness has descended

“The American people ... chose the path of racism, hatred, and intolerance,” states an editorial. “The international community ... had plenty of reasons for awaiting the final result with bated breath. Trump adopted as enemies Mexicans and Muslims, and even leveled accusations against the Chinese government. The great unknown is whether the New York magnate will actually do as he has ranted during his rallies, or whether he will modify his attitude.”

The Conversation / Johannesburg, South Africa

A sad day for Africa

“I am profoundly concerned about the implications of Trump’s election for international affairs, and particularly for American foreign policy in Africa...,” writes David Hornsby, an associate professor of international relations at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. “In a moment where the international community needs to be coming together to solve collective problems, President-elect Trump appears more interested in taking the US on its own path.... Deferring action on climate change will have disastrous consequences for states battling related problems like drought, extreme weather events and rising sea levels. Sadly, African states will suffer in this context of decreased global cooperation.... In a new era of crass power politics, African states will only be marginalised further from western dominated decision-making.”


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