The U.S. presidential election naturally received heavy coverage around the globe, with broadcasters in most nations devoting plenty of airtime to live coverage, even if time zones worked against them. The global news media across all outlets weighed in with hope, concern and sometimes, biting satire.
President Obama’s victory was welcomed in China, especially as Romney had stepped up rhetoric demonizing the nation as a currency manipulator in the latter stages of the campaign.
Although the U.S. election was closely watched in China, it took place the day before Beijing began its own once-in-a-decade political transition — the fifth generation of Communist Party leaders, led by Xi Jinping, step up after a highly secretive appointment process — and the baton pass closer to home dominated the local media.
Still, outgoing president Hu Jintao welcomed Obama’s election, and in an op-ed carried by the state-owned Xinhua news agency, a commentator hailed the close links between the countries (with bilateral trade likely to top $500 billion this year).
“However, disputes between the world’s largest developed and developing countries are apparent, and there is always a risk of confrontation,” it said.
“If the United States does not change its traditionally hegemonic ways of thinking, there will be more and more conflicts as China continues to develop and protect its own interests,” the editorial continued.
On Weibo, the Chinese version of the banned Twitter, reactions were varied.
Some were admiring of the U.S. for its color-blindness. One commentator wrote: “Obama’s re-election shows that a non-white person can be president, and the real miracle is that he can be re-elected. These are the values America transmits to the world.”
Others showed how the finer points of democratic elections can be lost on some folks.
“Both candidates represent U.S. interests. China and the U.S. have different values, so there is nothing worth commenting on,” wrote another webizen.
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