Views from around the world on Monday’s first U.S. presidential debate between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump:
CHINA: WANG PEI, a graduate student in communications studies, was watching the debate from a cafe in Beijing and said he thought Clinton carried herself better.”I personally like Trump’s character and the feeling that he’s a fighter,” Wang said. “But from today’s performance, I think Clinton was more like a mature politician and Trump looked a bit like a misfit in this kind of setting.”Asked if he hoped that China would someday see its political candidates engage in similar debates, he said: “I don’t expect China to copy the U.S., or become a counterpart of the U.S.”I hope China will find its own way of sustainable development instead of following the example of the US, as long as this way can give us good lives,” Wang said.GE MENGCHAO, a graduate student in journalism, said he thought Trump would be a friendlier president to China because his business background could mean he would appreciate the countries’ commercial ties.”I think maybe Trump would be friendlier to China, because China and the U.S. share vast common interests, especially in commercial areas,” Ge said. “From the perspective of a businessman, he may take a friendlier approach to China.”
AUSTRALIA: MILTON GAN, a Sydney-based photographer, said it seemed like Trump was trying to rein in his temper for the first 15 minutes, then went off the rails.”He started interrupting Clinton, he started interrupting (moderator) Lester (Holt) and he started steamrolling. And you could see he was just getting really irate about everything,” Gan said.”The most ridiculous thing was at the end when he said he had the better temperament to be president,” Gan said, laughing. “It was just hilarious. … But at the same time, underlying all of this is the fact that there’s a really serious world leader’s position at stake and he’s one of the contenders. And it’s pretty scary.”Clinton came off prepared, confident and composed, Gan said: “Obviously, she’s done her prep and she’s got so much experience in politics and I think that really showed.”RICHARD MCCONOCHIE, 57, watched the debate on a big screen in a Canberra pub that opened at the same time the debate started: 11 a.m.”To me Trump aced it,” he said. “He came across as a man who could control himself. They said Trump’s ignorant of the issues. I think he proved that he had at least a working handle on most of the stuff he was talking about.””I think he’ll swing a lot of Americans over to Trump just by proving that he is not the sort of unstable, dangerous lunatic that he’s painted to be,” McConochie said. “I don’t see that Trump would be any more incompetent than Clinton.”PAUL SMITH, 56, at the same pub, was disappointed Trump had not done better.”He just really didn’t come up with the goods today. He hasn’t done his homework as much as she had. She was just so confident, so knowledgeable, looking so healthy, relaxed & delivered. And he didn’t have the comeback, didn’t have the punches.””I think he should be given a go. I think it’s business as usual with Hillary, it’s just a continuation of what Obama’s up to.”
JAPAN: NARUSHIGE MICHISHITA, a Japanese analyst, said it was in some ways heartening to hear his country mentioned in the debate, since Japan is often overlooked these days. But he disagreed with Trump’s criticism that Japan and other U.S. allies aren’t contributing enough to their defense.”There is a small truth to what Mr. Trump was saying, in the sense that Japan was a kind of free-rider or at least a cheap-rider back in the 1970s and ’80s,” said Michishita, director of the security and international studies program at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo.”But … now given what Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe is doing to make Japan much more proactive on defense and security matters, and trying to make Japan more engaged in international security affairs, it’s like, ‘What are you talking about?'”Trump did pretty well in the beginning but really petered out toward the end,” Michishita said. “Hillary was presidential, and she had a lot of facts and very solid arguments about things, whereas Trump in some ways undermined himself.”HIROTSUGU AIDA, author of a book on the Trump phenomenon, agreed that Trump misunderstood the U.S.-Japan security alliance but said he still did better than Clinton.”Trump unexpectedly acted presidential. It might be a setback for Clinton who wanted to make him look unsuitable for presidency,” he said. “Clinton could not successfully distinguish herself as a mature politician from Trump the amateur in politics… It may sound a bit too strong but I would say Trump won.”Aida, a professor of global studies at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo, said Trump avoided making gaffes and meaningless criticism against Japan on trade issues, going after China and Mexico instead.