Trump win sends shockwaves across world

Leap into the unknown

WASHINGTON - Donald Trump's extraordinary US election victory sent shockwaves across the world on Wednesday, as opponents braced for a "dangerous" leader in the White House but populists hailed a new revolution.
America's allies put a diplomatically brave face on the outcome of the deeply divisive presidential race, which has implications for everything from trade to human rights, climate change to global conflicts.
A "Trump slump" hit financial markets, with Asian stocks nosediving on investor concerns over the untested polices of the incoming president, although European shares clawed back some of their initial losses.
Mexicans were thunderstruck at the victory of the staunchly anti-immigrant politician who has called migrants rapists and drug dealers and vowed to force the country to pay billions to build a border wall.
But Trump's populist brothers-in-arms in Europe reacted with unabashed glee, with Nigel Farage, who spearheaded the "Brexit" campaign for Britain to leave the European Union hailing "two great political revolutions".
The Republican's extraordinary rise to power has been keenly watched abroad as he campaigned on a platform of trashing trade agreements, restricting immigration, dismissing climate change, and otherwise disengaging from the rest of the world.
World leaders were quick to push for a continuation of ties with the top political and economic power, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel offering Trump "close cooperation" based on common values.
Similar sentiments were echoed from Turkey to Japan, China to Israel.
And Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was repeatedly flattered and praised by Trump during the election campaign, said Moscow "wants to restore fully fledged relations" with the US after strained ties with Barack Obama's administration.
- 'This is a disaster' -
Across the globe, viewers at election-watching events across the globe stared at giant screens tallying the returns as they digested the impact of the unpredictable tycoon heading the world's most powerful nation.
"This is a disaster. Noone expected this," said Molly Davies, 24, from San Francisco, as she watched the events unfold at home from a London bar.
"It's very similar to Brexit, but it's probably worse... It's scary," she said. "Our rights are gonna go backward... like gay rights, abortion."
Dianita Sugiyo, 34, a university lecturer in Indonesia -- the world's most populous Muslim country -- said she was particularly worried by Trump's calls to temporarily ban Muslims from countries with a history of terror ties.
"The United States is a multicultural country and there are a lot of Muslims there, so this is very terrifying," Sugiyo, a member of a leading Indonesian moderate Muslim organisation, said at a US embassy event in Jakarta.
"It's a nightmare, with a lot of uncertainty about what's going to happen," said 35-year-old architect Erick Sauri, who wore a blue T-shirt reading "Hillary Clinton for President" as he watched the results in Mexico.
Britain's left-leaning Guardian newspaper pulled no punches, saying the United States has elected "its most dangerous leader".
"We have plenty to fear. The people of America have stepped into the abyss. The new president-elect is an unstable bigot, sexual predator and compulsive liar. He is capable of anything."
- 'Leap into the unknown' -
Trump's win has also fanned fears for the global economy.
"Clinton was a continuation of the status quo, whereas Trump is a huge leap into the unknown, so investors, as well as the wider public, have significant concerns about what he will do and whether he is up to the job," said Rebecca O'Keeffe, head of investment at stockbroker Interactive Investor.
"Trump is likely to cut taxes, invest in US infrastructure, be very pro-growth at home but be highly protectionist when it comes to the rest of the world.
Clarita Carlos, a political science professor at the University of the Philippines, said Trump's tirades against global free trade were a big concern.
"The world is globalising and if the US, which is one of the economic powerhouses, is going to put up walls, I don't see that as good for the world economy," she said.
Stunned participants at UN climate talks in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh insisted that the climate change denier could not derail the global shift to clean energy.
"Trump's election is a disaster, but it cannot be the end of the international climate process," said May Boeve, executive director of 350.rog, a global group pushing for divestment from fossil fuels.
- 'Democracy is alive' -
But in Europe, populist politicians rushed to congratulate their hero.
"The political class is reviled across much of the West, the polling industry's bankrupt and the press just hasn't woken up to what's going on in the world," Britain's Farage said.
Marine Le Pen, head of France's far-right anti-immigration National Front (FN), congratulated Trump and the "free American people".
And Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who leads a right-wing coalition with a strong anti-immigration stance, declared: "Congratulations. What a great news. Democracy is still alive."