The world reacts: Leaders hope for a new start with Biden; Pent-up global wish list of demands awaits US president-elect

World leaders cheered Joe Biden’s election as a welcome chance to fortify democracy and cooperation anew on climate change, the coronavirus pandemic and other critical geopolitical problems.

Western and Asian allies say they want a fresh start after four years of “American First” policies, the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement and U.S. government disdain for NATO and the World Health Organization.

There were congratulations for Biden from traditional U.S. allies, including several who did not see eye-to eye with Donald Trump. Congratulations also poured in from leaders who got along with Trump but ignored his claims the election wasn’t over.

What the World Wants: 

Four years of inward-looking “America First” leadership by Trump have generated pent-up global demand for a more engaged and amenable America. The leaders of governments and global institutions have a long wish list of priorities they want U.S. help with, which Trump’s administration often refused to provide, from climate change to taxing Internet companies. Beating back the coronavirus pandemic and slowing the rise in global temperatures are top priorities for America’s partners. AP journalists around the world contributed to this report.

View From Asia: As Asia comes to grips with the reality of a Biden administration, relief and hopes of economic and environmental revival jostle with anxiety and fears of inattention. From security to trade to climate change, a powerful U.S. reach extends to nearly every corner of the Asia-Pacific. In his four years in office, Trump shook the foundations of U.S. relations there as he courted traditional rivals and attacked allies with both frequency and relish. Perhaps the only single shared question now is: What will Biden do?  Foster Klug reports from Tokyo.

Britain’s Ties: 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is having to flip-flop after his ally Trump was defeated. He has denied that his close ties to Trump will hurt U.K.-U.S relations once Biden takes office in January. Johnson has congratulated the Democratic ticket on their victory and says the two countries’ “common global perspective” will be vital to shore up a rules-based global order. Johnson, who has yet to speak to Biden after his win, told The Associated Press in an interview that “the United States is our closest and most important ally” and insisted that would not change, Jill Lawless and Pan Pylas report from London.

The ”special relationship” won’t necessarily change, but it may be heavily strained. Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, a cause Johnson championed, and Trump’s election happened within a few months of each other in 2016. Ever since, many have seen the two events, and the two men, as twin eruptions of populism. Johnson’s past comments about former President Barack Obama have also not been forgotten.

Iran Diplomacy: 

President Hassan Rouhani has called on Biden to return the United States to Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers. He said Biden’s election represented an opportunity for the U.S. “to compensate for past mistakes and return to the path of complying with international agreements through respect of international norms.”

Latin America Holdouts:

 There were two notable holdouts among the world leaders who rushed to congratulate Biden: the Trump-friendly leaders of Latin America’s two biggest countries. President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil is sometimes dubbed “the Trump of the Tropics” for his populist, off-the-cuff style, and he’s kept silent on Trump’s loss. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has refused to congratulate Biden thus far, saying he would wait until legal challenges are resolved. While their motives may be quite different, both leaders faced criticism at home for their stance, Mark Stevenson and Debora Alvares report.

Harris’ Ancestral Village:

Waking up to the news of Kamala Harris’ election as U.S. vice president, overjoyed people in her Indian grandfather’s hometown set off firecrackers and offered prayers. Groups gathered Sunday at street corners in the village of Thulasendrapuram, population 350, reading newspapers and chatting about the Democrats’ victory before moving to a temple, Aijaz Rahi reports.


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