How the World's Media Is Reacting to Joe Biden's Election Victory

Global media was awash with headlines about the U.S. presidential election this weekend, much of the world having been glued to the coverage of the record-setting race.

Foreign newspapers and magazines considered the nature of the race and what the future might hold for President-Elect Joe Biden's incoming administration. America's allies and enemies alike are keenly watching to see what President Donald Trump does next, and what signals Biden's transition team sends as to their priorities.

In the U.K., newspapers focused on Biden's win but also the fractured political scene in the U.S. and how difficult it will be for the president-elect to heal the open wounds, especially with Trump refusing to accept defeat.

The Sunday Times' headline read: "Sleepy Joe wakes up America"—a reference to Trump's nickname for his 77-year-old rival. The Times, meanwhile, noted the "joyous scenes after days of deadlock" across the U.S.

The left-leaning Guardian newspaper said Biden's victory is "renewing hope for the U.S. and the world," bringing a "fresh promise for democracy and progress" after "four years of turmoil misinformation, manipulation and division."

The BBC, though, was more cautious. While Biden won, the national broadcaster said: "Donald Trump may have become one of the few U.S. presidents to have lost re-election, but Trumpism lives on." The Independent called the result: "A new dawn for America."

Publications in other European nations allied to the U.S. had the same mixture of optimism over Biden's win and concern over the deeper issues facing American politics. France's Le Monde newspaper said the election result "sparks huge relief in Europe," but its website noted the "desire to do battle" within the Trump campaign and among his supporters.

Le Figaro hailed Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, calling her "a pioneer in the White House" for becoming the first female politician and first woman of color elected to the position.

Germany's Der Spiegel magazine said Biden faced an "almost impossible task," and noted his win was achieved thanks to a "ripple" rather than the "wave" the Democrats had been hoping for. It said the U.S. remained a "deeply divided nation," though reprised its famous front cover showing Trump decapitating the Statue of Liberty to show Biden replacing the head.

Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine's headline was less optimistic, reading: "Despite defeat: Trumpism lives on." The newspaper noted that Trump collected a record number of votes for an outgoing president, and wrote: "Regardless of the outcome of the post-election battle for the White House, one thing was already clear on Tuesday evening: Trumpism is alive. It will continue to shape Washington in the future."

In Canada, The Globe and Mail also celebrated Harris' achievement but said her election "won't fix the United States." The newspaper published articles considering the effect of Biden's election on Canadian climate policy and the fate of Canadian citizens detained in China. The Globe and Mail also noted that the coronavirus pandemic is still raging in the U.S. amid Biden's celebrations.

Israeli newspapers focused on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's close ties with Trump, noting he will need to pivot towards a potentially less forgiving Biden administration. An article in Haaretz said it was time for Netanyahu to "sober up" and engage with Biden.

The Times of Israel asked what Trump's lame-duck period holds for Israel. Whether weapons sales, approval of West Bank annexation, or further action on Iran, there is a lot the president could do in his remaining time in office, the newspaper said.

Australian tabloid The Daily Telegraph, owned by Rupert Murdoch, said Trump was a "hotball of fury" refusing to accept the result. The newspaper said conflict would likely continue, and that the president "will simply not accept the humiliation of seemingly being beaten by a foe he perceived to be feeble and barely worth turning up to fight."

New Zealand's Herald on Sunday carried a smiling picture of Biden alongside the headline: "Taking control." It described the president-elect as "super-confident" and said the ongoing ballot counts and Trump's refusal to accept the result had left the U.S. in "suspended animation."

The Japan Times also focused on the fact that the election does not mark the death of Trump's nationalist movement. "Message of the U.S. election: Trump lost, but Trumpism did not," the newspaper declared.

The Korea Herald said South Korea's government was looking to build ties with the incoming administration and work towards peace on the peninsula. The newspaper said it was unclear if Trump would accept defeat any time soon.

India's Economic Times said the election result was likely only the beginning of the conflict between the two camps. "Biden wins a battle for democracy, but war intensifies from here," the lead article on the newspaper's website read. Several other Indian newspapers ran articles lauding Harris—who is of Indian heritage—for her achievement.

In Brazil, Folha de S.Paulo said: "Trump's defeat punishes the attacks against civilization, it is a lesson for Bolsonaro," referring to Brazil's far-right populist President Jair Bolsonaro.

Mexican newspaper El Universal published an article titled: "Six reasons to celebrate Trump's defeat." Trump is generally unpopular among Mexicans, though President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has tried to stay on the president's good side. El Universal also noted the controversy stemming from Obrador's delay in congratulating Biden.

America's rivals tended to focus on the chaos around the election and the challenges facing Biden's presidency. China's state-owned China Daily said: "Biden declared president-elect as challenges loom." State-owned CCTV said: "Biden urges unity after fiercely contested election."

The South China Morning Post in Hong Kong carried articles suggesting that U.S.-China tensions were likely to continue despite the change in leadership, with others noting that regional leaders "see renewed hope in Biden and return to multilateralism."

Russian media suggested little would change in U.S.-Russian relations through Biden's win. An article on Sunday's Kommersant newspaper read: "The only guaranteed outcome of the elections was the civil division, which, having hit the country four years ago, will continue to grow."

Russia's Moscow Times newspaper said a Biden presidency would not mean rapprochement with Moscow, but that at least his more traditional style would be less chaotic. "It's not that Biden would be much better in terms of Russian-U.S. relations, but at least he might bring a certain predictability to the dialogue," the paper said.

In Iran, state newspapers carried regime statements claiming that Tehran would maintain its resistance to U.S. pressure regardless of who won the presidency. Newspapers also reveled in the chaos unfolding in the U.S. and Trump's continued attacks on the democratic process.

Venezuela's El Universal newspaper profiled Harris and her rise to the vice presidency, describing her career as "brilliant" and lauding her as an example of the American Dream. El Diario recalled her comments in 2019 pushing back against the idea of war with Venezuela.

Joe BIden, Donald Trump, election, newspapers, media
A general view at copies of French daily newspapers with reactions to the U.S. presidential election on November 8, 2020 in Paris, France. Marc Piasecki/Getty Images/Getty