International reaction to Joe Biden’s presidential election victory provides a useful map of the state of U.S. alliances — and of democracy — around the world. At one extreme, the world’s leading democracies, and closest U.S. allies, were quick to congratulate Biden on his victory — despite the refusal of President Donald Trump to concede. Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Japan, India, South Korea and Italy all appeared to be doing their part to help the United States avoid a political crisis by quickly recognizing the president-elect.
At the other extreme were Russia and China, which on Monday were still declining to accept the results, citing Trump’s legal challenges. Especially in the case of the regime of Vladimir Putin — which, according to the CIA, attempted to aid Trump’s re-election — that looked like an effort to help him discredit the result. No doubt Beijing, as well as Moscow, welcome Trump’s effort to tarnish the U.S. political system, which may make their autocratic models look more attractive by comparison.