Many prominent leaders who have maintained cordial relations with US President Donald Trump have yet to wish the president-elect congratulations.
At a time when many world leaders rushed to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden on his expected victory in the US election over Donald Trump, others were prominent in their silence on Sunday.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said he will not congratulate Biden on his victory until all legal challenges are resolved.
Lopez Obrador told a news conference that he would abstain until “all legal cases.” [related to the election] Solved. We don’t want to be careless. “
The Mexican President added that his country has a good relationship with both Biden and President Trump, praising the current leader for being “very respectful of us.”
While outright disappointment has been rare, many of the prominent leaders who have maintained warm ties with the Trump administration have also been silent about Biden’s victory. This included Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and China Xi Jinping also noticeably missed the happy wishes.
A Lesson for Bolsonaro
Depending on the confrontational style he and Trump share, Bolsonaro also clashed with Biden during the presidential race.
When Biden said during his first debate with Trump that the United States needed to push Brazil to better protect the Amazon rainforest, Bolsonaro called the statement “catastrophic.”
“What a shame, Mr. John Biden!” He said, mistaking the former vice president’s first name in the English version of his tweet.
Leading Brazilian media reported the defeat of Trump in the context of its populist leader, who similarly sought to curtail democratic institutions and reject science-based facts.
Folha de Sao Paulo, one of the main daily newspapers in Brazil, wrote that “Trump’s defeat punishes the attacks against civilization. It is a lesson for Bolsonaro.”
“I hope Brazil’s leaders seize the zeitgeist – or die, like Trump, who has already left it too late.”
Trump has shown no signs of willingness to compromise, and has made repeated and unfounded allegations of major voting irregularities, some of which have already been rejected by courts and election officials.
The Republican president promised to continue legal battles and start new battles on Monday. It remains to be seen whether any of his efforts will succeed, but it is doubtful that he will be able to overturn the growing consensus around the election outcome.
There was no immediate reaction from Putin, who was a friend of Trump’s. But other leaders who have supported Trump – including Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, Narendra Modi of India, and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte – congratulated Biden, noting their rejection of Trump’s claim that the elections are not over yet.
China’s strained relationship with the Trump administration could continue under the president-elect. Biden sometimes went further than the outgoing president in attacking China.
He referred to Chinese President Xi Jinping as a “thug” and swore to lead an international campaign “to pressure, isolate and punish China.”
His campaign also described China’s actions against Muslims in Xinjiang as “genocide” – a step further than current policy, with major ramifications if this designation is formalized.
“The United States needs to be strict with China,” Biden said in an article published in March with the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, which was first recorded in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
“The most effective way to meet this challenge is to build a united front of US allies and partners to confront China’s abusive behavior and human rights violations.”
In the same sentence, Biden also wrote about seeking “cooperation with Beijing on issues where our interests converge, such as climate change, non-proliferation and global health security.”
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