World Events

Trump’s Fury Feeds Moscow and Beijing Accounts of U.S. Chaos

In Russia, elections are tightly scripted affairs, with challengers to the ruling party winning in very rare cases and popular opposition politicians generally unable to get on the ballot. But on Monday, Ella A. Pamfilova, the head of Russia’s Central Election Commission, took her turn at sounding off on the superiority of Russian governance. She said she had studied mail-in voting and decided against using it in Russia because it was too vulnerable to cheating.

“This anachronism in its American version opens up boundless possibilities for potential fraud,” she told Tass, a state-run Russian news agency — echoing one of Mr. Trump’s favorite claims, though no evidence of such fraud has emerged. “It turns out I was right. What’s going on now in the United States is the best illustration of that.”

The Kremlin may well miss Mr. Trump. While the president never delivered on Russian hopes of rapprochement between Washington and Moscow, his America-first foreign policy dovetailed with the Kremlin’s desire to weaken the Western alliance and to expand Russian influence around the world.

Mr. Biden, by contrast, has vowed to take a tougher line on Russia and to rebuild ties with America’s traditional allies. Some Russian analysts have noted potential silver linings to a Biden presidency, including a greater potential to work with Washington on matters of common interest like arms control and Iran’s nuclear program. But that optimistic narrative has been far from front-and-center on Russian state media in the last week.

For China, the calculus is even more complicated, and state media’s response to Mr. Biden’s win has been more measured. Mr. Biden would be “more moderate and mature” than Mr. Trump on foreign affairs, Global Times, a fiercely nationalistic tabloid, said. Still, the president-elect seems determined to leave in place many of Mr. Trump’s harshest measures, and China’s leaders appear to have concluded that the United States will remain irreconcilably opposed to the country’s rise.

Southern Daily, an official newspaper for the southern province of Guangdong, said that while Mr. Biden would most likely treat Russia, not China, as the biggest foreign threat to the United States, “we don’t have to have illusions.”


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