Asian leaders congratulate Trump, pledge to boost ties

(From left) Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping have congratulated US President-elect Donald Trump on his stunning election victory.
(From left) Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping have congratulated US President-elect Donald Trump on his stunning election victory.PHOTO: AFP, REUTERS

Asian leaders have congratulated US President-elect Donald Trump on his stunning election victory yesterday and pledged to work with him to strengthen ties.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, one of the United States' alliance partners in the region, praised Mr Trump as "a very successful businessman with extraordinary talents". He called the US-Japan partnership an "alliance of hope".

"Japan and the United States are unwavering allies tied firmly with the bond of universal values such as freedom, democracy, basic human rights and the rule of law," he said in his congratulatory message.

He stressed that the stability of the Asia-Pacific region is a driving force of the global economy, and would bring peace and prosperity to the US.

Mr Abe also instructed his special adviser on diplomatic affairs, Mr Katsuyuki Kawai, to visit Washington next week to quickly forge a "relationship of trust" with the incoming administration.

 
 

What world leaders are saying

We understand that this (restoration of ties) will not be an easy path, considering the unfortunate degradation of relations. But Russia is ready and wants to restore full-fledged relations with the US.

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, at a ceremony to receive credentials from new ambassadors. Mr Putin, who was one of the first world leaders to congratulate Mr Donald Trump, did so via a telegram. The US President-elect had expressed admiration for the Russian leader during the election campaign. This American election opens a period of uncertainty... we need a strong France and a united Europe capable of expressing and carrying out its policy everywhere where its values and interests are put into question.

FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, in a statement. French officials had openly endorsed Mr Donald Trump's rival Hillary Clinton for US president. I place great importance on the China-US relationship, and look forward to working with you to uphold the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.

CHINESE PRESIDENT XI JINPING, who congratulated Mr Trump in a statement.

President-elect Trump is a true friend of the state of Israel, and I look forward to working with him to advance security, stability and peace in our region.

ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, who said in a statement that he hoped to reach "new heights" in bilateral ties.

Britain and the United States have an enduring and special relationship based on the values of freedom, democracy and enterprise... I look forward to working with President-elect Donald Trump, building on these ties to ensure the security and prosperity of our nations in the years ahead.

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER THERESA MAY, in a statement.

We look forward to working with you closely to take India-US bilateral ties to a new height. We appreciate the friendship you have articulated towards India during your campaign.

INDIAN PRIME MINISTER NARENDRA MODI, writing on Twitter.

As a very successful businessman with extraordinary talents, not only you made great contributions to the growth of the US economy, but now as a strong leader, you have demonstrated your determination to lead the United States... Japan and the United States are unwavering allies tied firmly with the bond of universal values such as freedom, democracy, basic human rights and the rule of law.

JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER SHINZO ABE, in a statement.

Mr Kawai will likely discuss Japan's desire to strengthen its security alliance with the US, as well as the quick ratification of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak lauded Mr Trump's win in a statement, saying "politicians should never take voters for granted". "Opinion polls, and established political figures, all underestimated the strength of his support," he said.

"His appeal to Americans who have been left behind - those who want to see their government more focused on their interests and welfare, and less embroiled in foreign interventions that proved to be against US interests - has won Mr Trump the White House."

Datuk Seri Najib said both countries elevated their relationship to a comprehensive partnership in 2014 and "are firm allies in the worldwide fight against terrorism and extremism".

"We look forward to continuing this partnership under President- elect Trump. I congratulate him on this extraordinary victory, and look forward to meeting him again soon."

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has hurled abuse at the US almost daily, was en route to Malaysia for a state visit when he was informed of Mr Trump's win.

Mr Duterte said in a statement that he "looks forward to working with the incoming administration for enhanced Philippines-US relations anchored on mutual respect, mutual benefit and shared commitment to democratic ideals and the rule of law".

Chinese President Xi Jinping noted that his country and the US - the world's two biggest economies - shared responsibility for promoting global development and prosperity.

"I place great importance on the China-US relationship, and look forward to working with you to uphold the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation," said Mr Xi.

In her congratulatory message, South Korean President Park Geun Hye expressed hopes that South Korea and the US can continue to reinforce bilateral cooperation, strengthen their security alliance and address pending issues, including North Korea.

The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the kingdom "welcomes the result of the US presidential election" and that "Thailand will continue to work closely with the United States to further enhance Thai-US partnership".

•Reporting by Walter Sim in Tokyo, Raul Dancel in Manila, Chang May Choon in Seoul and Tan Hui Yee in Bangkok

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2016, with the headline 'Asian leaders congratulate Trump, pledge to boost ties'. Print Edition | Subscribe