Why Putin, Xi, Bolsonaro and Erdogan haven’t congratulated Biden yet

Among the notable holdouts are the strongmen who President Donald Trump has cozied as much as and heaped reward upon during the last 4 years. Trump’s affinity for authoritarian leaders throughout the globe has been one of many few constants throughout his chaotic time in workplace.

In staying silent, these leaders have spoken volumes concerning the kinds of relationships they anticipate having with the brand new administration.

In 2016, the Kremlin congratulated President Donald Trump inside hours of the race being known as — however Russian President Vladimir Putin has not prolonged the identical message to Biden. On Monday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated Moscow would watch for official election outcomes earlier than commenting on the result.

Over the course of his presidency, Trump broke with longstanding US coverage in his repeated reward of Putin, stoking suspicion over his marketing campaign’s attainable connection to Russian meddling within the election. The similar cozy relationship can’t be anticipated from Biden, who has vowed to deal with overseas interference “as an adversarial act.”
“Biden will work hard with partners and allies to push back on whatever Russia is up to, whether it’s trying to assassinate Russian citizens overseas, or kill their own opposition leaders like the alleged attempt with [Alexey] Navalny in Siberia, or activities in Syria, Crimea, etc.,” stated Karin von Hippel, director-general of the Royal United Services Institute. “So I do think he [Putin] knows that there will be much more of an effort to try to contain Russia.”
Trump and Putin chat at the APEC Summit in Danang, Vietnam, in 2017.

Biden will mark a major step change for Russia, which has had a free hand for some years now — together with on the finish of President Barack Obama’s years in workplace — von Hippel, a former nonpolitical senior adviser on the State Department beneath the Obama administration, added.

In late October, Biden known as Russia “the main threat” to US nationwide safety throughout an interview with 60 Minutes on CBS. Kremlin spokesman Peskov responded by saying that Russia did not agree with Biden’s remarks, and such rhetoric amplified “hatred towards the Russian Federation.”

In the run-up to the election, the 2 international locations didn’t attain a deal to increase a key arms discount treaty, New START — signed by Presidents Obama and Dmitry Medvedev in 2010 — which the Trump administration was pushing for forward of election day.

Putin beforehand indicated that he sees strategic treaties as one of many potential factors for cooperation with Biden.

Chinese President Xi Jinping

Even after his rancorous rhetoric towards China as a candidate within the 2016 race, then-President-elect Trump was congratulated on his win by President Xi Jinping, who known as for a “sound” and “stable” Sino-US relationship shifting ahead.
And whereas Trump and Xi did briefly forge an unlikely friendship over sorbet on the US President’s Mar-a-Lago resort, relations between the 2 international locations have deteriorated amid stark divisions over commerce, expertise, human rights, accusations of Chinese expansionism and — most just lately — blame over the Covid-19 pandemic.
But even towards this backdrop, Xi has not been fast to welcome a Biden presidency. The Chinese authorities on Monday sidestepped questions on when it will congratulate Biden on his election victory, with a Foreign Ministry spokesman saying solely that China would act in “accordance with international practice.”
Chinese government sidesteps question on when it will congratulate US President-elect Biden

It’s not laborious to see why Beijing is hesitant. Biden has boasted of his capability to tackle China in distinction to Trump, denouncing the outgoing President for initially embracing Xi. Beijing could not really feel obliged to compromise with the US beneath a brand new administration, particularly as the danger of unpredictable motion is significantly decrease. But a level of consistency may be to Beijing’s profit, von Hippel stated.

“Even though Biden will be tough on China, and will work with partners and allies to have a concerted China policy, his platform says we will work with China on areas where there’s mutual interest, whether that’s climate change or North Korea. And then they’ll push back in other areas. So it’ll be more nuanced, but I think it’ll be better for China because it won’t be so erratic and ad hoc like Trump was,” stated von Hippel.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

As a candidate, Trump praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his dealing with of a failed coup try regardless of a significant crackdown on perceived opposition figures. As President, Trump trumpeted a controversial referendum win for Erdogan that noticed the Turkish chief acquire far-reaching and unchecked powers.

In brief, with Trump in workplace, Erdogan has largely been given carte blanche to do what he desires. That might be a really completely different story with Biden, who Erdogan has not yet acknowledged as President-elect.

Trump and Erdogan take part in a joint press conference at the White House in 2019.
Speaking final 12 months on a particular episode of The New York Times’ “The Weekly,” Biden stated he was “worried” about Turkey and could be taking “a very different approach” to relations with the nation, together with supporting opposition management and the Kurds.
Trump’s retreat from the area — together with a sudden withdrawal from Syria that left erstwhile anti-ISIS allies the Syrian Kurds uncovered to a Turkish advance — emboldened Erdogan. The Turkish chief has since risked the wrath of the NATO alliance by shopping for Russian weapons, and backed assaults on US and European pursuits within the Middle East.

Biden has stated Erdogan has “to pay a price” for these actions, together with whether or not the US will proceed to promote weapons to him.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro

President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, usually referred to as “the Trump of the Tropics” for his shared model of populist politics and cult of persona, has additionally saved quiet on Trump’s loss.

Bolsonaro and his youngsters — who, like Trump’s, play an lively position in politics — had been hopeful about Trump’s re-election bid. His son, Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro, who wore a “Trump 2020” cap on a visit to Washington as an envoy for his father, questioned Biden’s votes and the integrity of the US election on Twitter final week.
Brazil's Bolsonaro rejects Biden's offer of $20 billion to protect the Amazon

Like Trump, Bolsonaro has campaigned and run on polarization, stirring controversy by making misogynistic, racist and homophobic remarks. He has additionally repeatedly downplayed the Covid-19 pandemic, at the same time as Brazil suffered one of many world’s deadliest outbreaks.

With Trump’s departure, Bolsonaro loses a diplomatic ally and finds himself going through a US President with a renewed give attention to human rights and the environment.

“Will this herald the beginning of the end of other populist leaders? A part of the reason that it may do that is because so many of these populist leaders like Bolsonaro in particular … are in denial about the pandemic and they really demonstrated to their own people, in many ways as Trump has, that they don’t actually care about them,” von Hippel stated.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador made a fastidiously worded assertion on the US election through which he didn’t deal with Biden because the winner and as an alternative stated he wanted to attend till authorized challenges to the vote-counting concluded.

“We are going to wait for all the legal issues to be resolved. We do not want to be reckless. We do not want to act lightly. We want to be respectful of the self-determination of the people and of their rights,” López Obrador stated on state tv Saturday.

Trump and López Obrador address the media at the White House in July.
López Obrador has cast a detailed relationship with the US President over the previous couple of years, even within the face of Trump’s financial bullying and racist rhetoric. The two males, each populists who’ve constructed political manufacturers on a cult of persona, met in July to have fun the implementation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement commerce deal.

López Obrador’s reluctance to congratulate Biden could also be right down to that friendship. The transfer may be interpreted as a continuation of a overseas coverage custom of actively avoiding commenting on the affairs of different international locations.

The Mexican President added in Saturday’s televised assertion: “We have a very good relationship with both of the candidates. President Trump has been very respectful with us and we have reached some good accords. We thank him because he has not been a meddler and he has respected us. And the same thing with the candidate Biden. I’ve known him for more than 10 years.”

Ben Westcott in Hong Kong, Mary Ilyushina in Moscow and Natalie Gallón in Mexico City contributed to this report.

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