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  • Rightwing group Hindu Sena celebrate the birthday of Donald Trump in New Delhi in June 2016 (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
At SBS Radio we wanted to know how our listeners' different home countries were dealing with the prospect of President Trump vs President Clinton, so we asked our correspondents from around the world what the mood was in their region.
SBS Radio

4 Nov 2016 - 10:08 AM  UPDATED 4 Nov 2016 - 11:06 AM

In the lead up to the United States presidential election on November 8, SBS Radio asked journalists from Germany, India, China, Russia, Egypt and Jordan and Mexico, 'What would a Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton victory mean for your region?'

Here are their responses...

From Mexico: Jose Fernandez Santillan 


"Here in Mexico, we are very concerned. If he reaches the Presidency of the United States, Trump said he will build a wall and make us pay for it . That means not only stopping the immigration flow but also the deportation of at least 5 million people. Imagine the humanitarian disaster that would cause. Here in the city of Mexicali, there is already a humanitarian disaster caused by the Haitians and Africans in Tijuana and Mexicali, who are trying to cross the border to the United States. We’ve been having serious problems to give accommodation to thousands of migrants who fail to cross the border and need housing, food, health and protection. The problems would accrue for the Mexican government and life in the border will be altered; a border of 3000kms long."


"It would be very favourable if Hillary wins because she was Secretary of State and she knows Mexico. She is an affable woman with diplomatic manners and especially with a deep knowledge of Mexico. She was here in the Golden Valley talking with the people and with Mexican migrants who had managed to cross the border and are working there. She said she needs to create an inclusive society that includes benefits for the workers."

"Because one thing is not having citizenship and another thing to have working rights and human rights.

"The impact in Mexico will also depend on who becomes President of the Republic here in Mexico because we have elections in 2018. Hillary struggled as Secretary of State under President Felipe Calderon from the Conservative Party. Imagine how difficult it would be for her if Margarita - Calderon’s wife - won the Presidency, as she is one of the candidates. Hillary doesn’t like Felipe Calderon because President Calderon treated her very badly when she was Secretary of State."

Jose Fernandez Santillan is a political science professor and researcher at Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico City and Harvard University. His work appears in academic and popular media in Mexico.


From Germany: Daniel Salg 


"As Donald Trump is a very volatile person it’s hard to say what his victory in the presidential election would mean for Germany. On one hand, Trump wants to increase the military spending of the United States and his foreign policy in North Africa and in the Middle East would definitely be harsher than Obama’s. His aggressive foreign policy could lead to an increasing number of asylum seekers in Europe and most likely in Germany. But Trump would only send soldiers to other countries when there is an acute danger for the United States. So it’s likely that there will be a power vacuum in NATO and the United Nations which Germany would have to fill with the other European countries. On the other hand, Trump wants to strengthen the economy of the US through protectionism. This would definitely have negative effects on the German economy as well; as Germany is one of the biggest export nations in the world."


"If the Germans could vote in the US Presidential election they would vote for Hillary Clinton. This is claimed by a survey in the news magazine Focus. The reasons are obvious; Hillary Clinton is an experienced politician, because of her former position as the foreign secretary and the German’s know her way of making politics. Clinton is a supporter of the trans-Atlantic alliance as well as the German Chancellor Angela Merkal. Some expect that there will be an even stronger partnership between Germany and the US if Hillary Clinton wins the presidential election. Further, Clinton supports the economic trade between Germany and the US, in contrast to Trump, so Germany doesn’t have to worry about any trading obstacles."

Daniel Salg started his journalistic career as an intern at SBS Radio’s German Program. Today, he lives back in Nuremberg and files a weekly report from Germany. 


From India: Sudhish Pachauri 


"Historically we see, whenever the Republicans are at the helm of affairs in America, that relations between America with India have been very cordial and very positive. Whenever the democrats are there; India has felt neglected. The Indian middle-class mood is that there should be a strong person in America and that is why pro-Hindu media or pro-establishment media in India are praising Trump."

"India still thinks en masse, that America is not a reliable friend and that Russia is, because of the Bangladesh war. America sent seven fleets to stop Indian help getting to Bangladeshi liberation people, but Russians helped India to intervene. Otherwise America; they sell to whoever is the best customer and India is a pawn in the larger game of America. To checkmate Pakistan, to checkmate China especially otherwise, there is no policy issue."  

"India still thinks en masse, that America is not a reliable friend and Russia is still a reliable friend, because of the Bangladesh war."               


"I think there is only one channel - that is the NDTV channel - that has sent 6 reporters to New York or Washington. They are reporting that they have had one interview with Trump, and Trump has said, ‘I love India, I want to work with Modi (Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi)'; that is all. Otherwise in the English media; the majority of the material is coming from America. There are very few Indian scholars or experts that are commentating about Trump or Hillary. Indian experts are pro-Hillary and the Hindi media is also getting translated so there is no in-depth analysis being done; so whatever America is planting is being covered in India."

Professor Sudhish Pachauri is Delhi University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor and an imminent Indian News Analyst. He is also among the top ten contemporary authors in the Hindi language. 

From China: Laura Luo


"So what would be the impact in Asia if Hillary Clinton becomes the next US president? Of course, it would be unprecedented; she would be the first female president in the US and that means a great deal to the relationship between China and the US. But the main concern for Beijing is, according to political commentators, is that Chinese officials might think it is harder to deal with Hillary Clinton because of her legal background and also because of her background as a long term career politician."

"When she was the Secretary of State she took a very hard stance against China regarding the issue of the South China Sea and also because of the US strategy of returning to Asia, so all these can be major threats to China. In terms of the economy and business, Hillary Clinton obviously supports free trade, but we don’t know her attitude towards the exchange rate of the US dollar and the Yuan exchange rate - we don’t really know anything at the moment - but according to political commentators, Beijing thinks it’s easier to deal with Donald Trump instead of Hillary Clinton." 


"If Donald Trump becomes the president of the United States the biggest concern now would be global trade and the trade between China and the United States. The US is the 2nd largest trade partner of China and China is the largest one with the US, so obviously trade is very important to the economy of both sides. Donald Trump earlier criticised China on manipulating the exchange rate and he also said he wants to withdraw from the WTL (World Trade Organisation) if he won the presidential election, so that would be the main concern. However, according to a political commentator who’s based in Beijing, Wang Zi, many officials don’t think Donald Trump will be a major threat to Beijing because of his business background."

Donald Trump is a businessman and the Chinese mentality is, it’s always easier to deal with a businessman rather than deal with a career politician like Hillary Clinton. A businessman can always change his mind and can always work with benefits, so if there are deals that could benefit both sides, Chinese officials think that it would be easier and that Donald Trump would accept these deals rather than reject them."

Laura Luo is a special correspondent in Beijing for SBS Radio's Mandarin program. She had studied and worked in Melbourne before embarking on a media career in China. She is bilingual in English and Chinese and is a skilled writer in business, finance, technology and cross-cultural issues.    

"Donald Trump is a businessman and the Chinese mentality is, it’s always easier to deal with a businessman rather than deal with a career politician like Hillary Clinton."

From Russia: Nadezhda Azhgikhina

"It’s difficult to say because first of all, Donald Trump - if he wins - he will follow American constituents and will follow American interests first of all and I am not sure if Russia is his first interest, or the first interest of American people. The same I could say for Hillary Clinton; her rhetoric was very aggressive, was very anti-Russian and she was very hostile toward Russia, however, some time ago it was completely different."

"Politics is a very flexible field and the attitudes of politicians' depend on different interests; interests of their country and their groups and so on, so I do not think there would be a very big difference between the two of them for Russia. It is clear that the relationship is quite problematic; there is lots of tension and it’s pity, but it happened during Russian-American history and I do hope the relationship will be improved in the future. Who will be first here: Clinton or Trump? Well, it’s difficult to define at this very moment."

Nadezhda Azhgikhina is a journalist, writer and executive secretary of Russian Union of Journalists.  She writes a personal column in the national weekly Delovoy Vtornik and teaches at Moscow State University in the faculty of journalism.  


From Egypt: Amina Khairi 


"Regarding what Mr Trump said on different occasions regarding his own beliefs on Muslims - and of course the majority of the Arab world is made up of Muslims - I think many people do have this fear that the US will hold an antagonistic approach towards Muslims in general. Maybe the situation in Egypt is different because people are very much polarised; there is this section of Egyptians who really believe that it is better to have Mr Trump in the White House rather than Ms Clinton. But at the end of the day, I think both sides of Egyptians; they do not really think that American policy toward the Middle East in general and toward Egypt will change a lot no matter who the president is."


"There is this wide belief that the emergence of ISIS is more or less related to the United States. I am not saying that it was made in the US, as Mr Trump formally said, but there is this feeling among a large sector of Arabs in general that the United States turned a blind eye toward ISIS for some time. So yes, going back to your question, probably if Mrs Clinton reaches the White House, Arabs do believe that more or less the same policies that president Obama led in the Middle East will be pursued by Mrs Clinton. I think the main difference will be the way she deals with the Gulf countries, especially Saudi Arabia, because right now, of course, there is like a rift. There are a lot of differences between the regions and it all depends on what is going to happen in the coming few weeks."    

Amina Khairy is a journalist and Features Editor at Al Hayat International Daily Newspaper, Cairo, Egypt. She has an MA Degree in International Journalism. 

"I think both sides of Egyptians; they do not really think that American policy toward the Middle East in general and toward Egypt will change a lot no matter who the president is."

From Jordan: Nada Khairalla 


"One of the few consistent Middle Eastern positions taken by Trump is his deep scepticism of the regime-changing intervention in the region, especially in Iraq and Libya. While Trump encouraged the anger of Muslims worldwide when he declared that he would impose a ban on Muslims entering the US, he has also vowed to be neutral in negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, which is a significant break from a long-standing US foreign policy favouring Israel."


"During Clinton’s time as Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, which included her shaping of US policy toward the Middle East, she repeatedly pushed president Barrack Obama to adapt a more manipulative approach in regards to the American military involvement in Libya and Syria. It is expected that a Clinton presidency will put more emphasis on driving the regional agenda; something that has largely gone missing with Obama. On policy, Clinton is likely to adhere to Obama’s strategy goals, like fighting terrorism, securing Israel and strengthening the like, but with a larger umbrella and with different instances of regional priorities. All in all, a Hillary Clinton presidency, if materialised, will bring forward a more robust, visible and complex centrist approach toward the US leadership in the Middle East."     

"If Trump were to follow through on his campaign rhetoric in challenging the US' long-standing pro-Israel bias and reject the influence of Israel’s powerful AIPAC lobby; that would impress. The likelihood is that Trump will oppose intervention in the Middle East, unless there is a clear connection to a terrorist threat directed at the US, either by Islamic State or possibly by Al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula."  

Nada Khairalla is a Jordanian journalist working currently as a news editor at the Jordanian Radio and TV Corporation. She also prepares weekly reports on the political developments and cultural activities in Jordan to SBS Arabic24. 

Further reading:
Election 2016: Mapping the campaign trail
This election, are the Liberal and Labor leaders focusing on tiny towns, or sprawling cities? We've made this map to help you keep track of them.