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'Isolated' and 'dangerous': How the world's media views Trump one year after the election

  • A year on from Donald Trump's election to the most powerful office in the world and the global media is appraising the U.S. president and America's standing.
  • Alongside the column inches in the U.S. devoted to weighing up President Trump's record in office so far, numerous global media outlets have published features, polls and commentary pieces looking at how the former businessman is faring at an international level.

A year on from Donald Trump's election to the most powerful office in the world and the global media is appraising the U.S. president and America's standing.

Alongside the column inches in the U.S. devoted to weighing up President Trump's record in office so far, numerous global media outlets have published features, polls and commentary pieces looking at how the former businessman is faring at an international level.

Here's a snapshot of some of those reports.

The view from China

The first anniversary of Trump's election Wednesday coincides with a crucial visit to China, with Asian media networks musing on the president's foreign policy and strategy towards Asia and which direction it could take in future.

Having visited South Korea and Japan already as part of an 11-day trip to the continent that began last Friday, Air Force One touched down in Beijing on Wednesday. This is arguably the most important part of the visit as the leaders of the world's two largest superpowers meet.

The meeting — which China is calling a "state visit-plus" — will highlight both Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping's positions on future economic and political ties and potential military cooperation with regards to North Korea. It is being closely watched by the world's media, particularly in China.

Chinese newspaper The Global Times said in a report appraising Trump's foreign policy towards Asia that "the relationship between Trump and Asian countries is at a delicate stage" and that the U.S. president would tread carefully around China.

"China and the U.S. are engaged in more competition than before. Washington can either maintain its advantages by weakening and containing Beijing, or continue to develop so its advantages can be self-sustaining," the Global Times' editorial noted, adding that "Trump should focus more resources on domestic construction, in which endeavor a friendly and cooperative Asia is required."

"Progress in trade and the North Korean nuclear crisis, to a large degree, are dependent on cooperation with China. All these determine that Trump is unlikely to treat China as a main rival in designing his Asia-Pacific policy," it added.

Meanwhile, the South China Morning Post carried a feature in which it had asked Chinese people what they thought of Trump. While many people responded that they liked his bluntness, style and outspoken views, one respondent, Fei Danyang, said watching the U.S. was like a real-life episode of TV show 'House of Cards.'

"It's like we [in China] are just like watching a fire from across a river," he said. "The chaos is theirs. The more dramatic it gets, the more fun it is to watch."

The view from Europe

Europe's media have also tended to view the ongoing Trump saga with a mixture of bemusement, curiosity and horror.

There has been widespread criticism from both the left and right-leaning media in the region at Trump's more controversial policies and pronouncements, such as his comments on immigrants and women, but also concern over his unpredictability.

In the U.K., left-leaning newspaper The Independent said Tuesday that: "It's been one year since the U.S. election and Donald Trump has done absolutely nothing since becoming president." The article's author, Nash Riggins, added unequivocally that "it's been 365 days since a clueless megalomaniac sailed past a gaggle of dedicated, career politicians and was foolishly handed the keys to the most powerful office on the planet."

Another British newspaper, the right-leaning The Daily Telegraph, said that Trump's "woes were mounting." The paper's U.S. editor noted that while Trump's presidency "had not disappointed on the entertainment front… some campaign pledges have fallen by the wayside," including the promised repeal of Obamacare and Iran's nuclear deal.

German newspaper Der Spiegel appraised the "moral emptiness" of Trump's presidency so far in an article headlined "Donald Trump and the erosion of American greatness." Author Roger Cohen argued that Trump's presidency posed an "existential threat" to America and that Trump, a man who he said had "blurred the line between truth and falsehood," was "dangerous."

Cohen also said Trump had not actually followed through on a lot of what he had promised voters — to build a wall between Mexico and the U.S., for example, or act on his threats to walk away from the NATO alliance, or his decision to honor a "One China" policy (that there is only one Chinese government).

"For all the presidential mouthing and angry ALL-CAPS dawn tweeting, there's no sign of the wall on the Mexican border; and NATO is no longer "obsolete" (at least some days of the week); and the "One China" policy has not been scrapped; and the Iran nuclear agreement endures for now," Cohen said.

Still, he added, "Trump is likely to become more capricious in the coming months" and an unspecified military conflict somewhere could offer an attractive option for Trump looking to distract attention away from an investigation into possible collusion between members of his team and Russia ahead of the 2016 election.

Relations are somewhat rocky between the U.S. and Russia now given that Washington signed off on more sanctions on Moscow in August. Russian media also carried little commentary on Trump's first year in office but noted that Trump and Putin were expected to meet at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam on Friday.

While Russian media was largely unmoved by Trump's first anniversary in office, French newspaper Les Echos reported Wednesday that "a year after his election, Trump appears more isolated than ever."

It added that while the U.S. president was "active on the international scene," he was much less so "on American affairs."

"None of his great promises have been ratified and his unpopularity has reached new heights," journalist Nicholas Rauline noted. France has something of a chequered relationship with the U.S., although diplomatic relations between Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron seem to have warmed slightly.

Large differences remain, however, especially over Washington's stance on climate change after Trump pulled the U.S. out of the 2015 Paris climate change deal. Against this backdrop, an official in Macron's office said on Tuesday that "for the time being" Trump had not been invited to a climate summit to be held in Paris in December, despite over 100 other countries due to attend, Reuters reported.

The anniversary comes amid falling approval ratings for Trump, with a Gallup poll showing his rating at 38 percent for the week ending November 5, far lower than his predecessors after one year in office.

By comparison, Barack Obama's approval rating stood at 51 percent a year into his presidency, George W. Bush's stood at 87 percent, and Bill Clinton's was at 49 percent.

Trump would probably call the approval ratings in the Gallup poll "fake news," a phrase that has become synonymous with his lambasting of any news report or information that does not shine a favorable light on him.