As the results for the 2020 U.S. election roll in, people in Asia anxiously watch on, knowing the outcome will affect their economies and geopolitical relationships just as much as their own elections.
At time of writing the results are still too close to call. U.S. President Donald Trump has won Florida, Ohio and Texas. But Democratic nominee Joe Biden urged patience, saying in a late night speech that “it ain’t over until every vote is counted.”
But thousands of miles away groups gathered in meeting rooms, restaurants and at home, for watch parties and to cheer on their chosen candidate.
In India, Trump enjoys support from the nation’s Hindu nationalists, who perceive his conservative agenda to be closely aligned with their own.
One study by the Pew Research Center discovered that 56 percent of Indians agreed with the statement that Trump would “do the right thing
when it comes to world affairs.” This survey, from February, reported that number to be just 16 percent when the president was first elected in 2016.
An Indian group known as Hindu Sena (aka the Hindu Army), which claims to have some 5 million followers, conducted a ritual in support of Trump on Nov. 3. Photos of the American president were held alongside images of the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi.
“India can fight terrorism only if Trump is around, and both China and Pakistan will stay restrained as long as he is the president,” the group’s founder, Vishnu Gupta, told news18 over the phone.
The village’s leader told the Times that the farmer admired Trump’s “straightforward ways and blunt speech.” But the mega-fan met with a bizarre and tragic end after he stopped eating when Trump contracted coronavirus and later died from cardiac arrest.
Meanwhile, over in South Korea, Biden is broadly seen as the favorite, as many people lost faith in Trump after he demanded the country quadruple its fee to receive support from U.S. troops not long after his inauguration. The new price, according to Trump, was $5 billion.
In addition, many South Koreans are concerned that another Trump presidency will continue to dial up tensions between China and its eastern neighbors.
As Park Won-gon, a professor of international relations at Handong Global University, told The Diplomat, “Trump will keep pushing South Korea to join the anti-China movement based on his past four-year policies toward China.”
It’s for these reasons that Biden is the default favorite, even if he’s less likely to lure North Korea’s Kim Jong Un back to the negotiating table, which many South Koreans considered the one achievement of Trump’s presidency.
In Japan, only a quarter of people have confidence in Trump, according to the Pew Research Center, which conducted another survey from June 10 to Aug. 3, 2020. The report also noted that only 41 percent of Japanese respondents had a favorable view of the U.S., which is the lowest since the survey was first taken in 2000.
Like in South Korea, many Japanese see Biden as someone who might re-enter the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal and engage more closely with Tokyo, both economically and militarily.
Via Vice News