US Election From Afar: Spotlight on Trump

America’s choice for president will affect nations across the globe. VOA reached out to people in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East and found that they have strong opinions about the campaign and each party’s leading candidates, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.

Simon Khaya-Moyo, a spokesman for Zimbabwe’s Zanu-PF party in Harare, spoke harshly about recent violence between Trump supporters and opponents.

“They claim to be the best in the world in terms of democracy,” he said. “If what happened in Chicago is the best, then God forbid. They should stop pretending to be the champions of democracy, but of violence.”

In African cities, particularly Nairobi, VOA found strong support for Democratic candidates. Kenyans are mindful of derogatory statements attributed to Trump.

“He calls us stupid, and I don’t like it,” said Faith Kenyana, a student at the University of Kenya. “It’s like he hates Africans.”

Russians, on the other hand, appear to favor Trump. They perceive him as being more of a friend to Putin than is Clinton, and their comments reflect growing anxiety over Moscow’s chilled relations with Washington.

“It’s my wish that the new president of America will be more loyal to Russia, so that there’s no cold war,” said Elena Saltykovskaya, a business manager.

“I just know a little about Hillary and Trump,” said Chen, who works in the finance industry. “Personally, I’ve heard before that Hillary is sort of anti-China, and Trump is sort of anti-China. So, I don’t really like either of them.”

But a man who identified himself as Zhang called the elections “great” and said every country could learn from them.

“I am more familiar with the former Secretary of State [Clinton],” he said. “At least she has that experience. She’s tough and not necessarily that friendly to China, but the things [she has said or done] are more a political necessity.”

People in the streets of Seoul, South Korea, were reluctant to speak out, but a few said they were worried about Trump’s charge that South Korea is not paying its fair share toward maintaining U.S. troops stationed there and in Japan.

“As Trump is conservative, I think there may be some disadvantages for South Korea in many ways if he becomes a president. So I pay more attention to Hillary,” said Kim Sang-young, an IT specialist.

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