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Podcast: What does the world think of the US election?

No matter who wins the US election, the result will echo around the world through America's policies on trade, immigration, and security. To understand that impact better, the writers of Signal, GZERO's newsletter, asked local journalists in 24 countries how the election is viewed where they live, and what they expect next. Overall, unease about the US role in the world will last well beyond November 3. This special podcast features highlights of those interviews presented by the Signal team, and moderated by GZERO's Alex Kliment.

This podcast is part of the GZERO project Global voices on the US election, which you can find in full here.

US election seen from Philippines: Will the US push China out?

Camille Elemia is a multimedia reporter with Rappler, an online news platform in the Philippines. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Carlos Santamaria: In your opinion, why do you think this US election matters to Filipinos?

CE: It's because of the situation with China. We are so close to China physically. And at the same time, the Philippines has been a colony of the US for the longest time. The influence is still there. We're waiting to see what the US role will become after the election.

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US election seen from Turkey: Turkish people have "a very negative perception of Joe Biden"

İpek Yezdani is an international freelance journalist based in Turkey. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Carlos Santamaria: In your opinion, what are two or three issues that people in Turkey are concerned about regarding the upcoming US election?

IY: There are several very important critical issues for Turkey-US relations. One of them is, of course, Syria. During the Obama administration, there was huge support for the Kurdish YPG forces in Syria. During the Trump administration, this support has continued for a while. The Turkish government considers the YPG as a terrorist organization, but on the other hand, Turkey is an ally, a NATO ally, maybe one of the strongest US allies in the Middle East. We has been fighting against this terrorist organization for decades, so this is a very important issue for Turkey.

The second important issue is US sanctions against Turkey after the Turkish bank Halkbank broke US sanctions against Iran. But the Trump administration has managed to limit these sanctions to a very low level.

Another important issue is the Fethullah Gülen movement. Gülen is an Islamic scholar who lives in Pennsylvania. His presence in the US is a big problem for Turkey-US relations because the Turkish government considers him the mastermind of the coup attempt in 2016. Turkey has been asking the US to give him back for many years.

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US election seen from Italy: Curious about Trump’s destiny

Massimo Gaggi is an Italian journalist with the Corriere della Sera newspaper. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Willis Sparks: Italy has been through so much this year with COVID-19. What's going on in Italy at the moment, and what was the mood like then?

MG: The mood, obviously, was very depressed during the spring, when the crisis came out so badly in Italy. The mood was also a little bit upset vis-à-vis the other European countries and the United States, to be honest with you, because we felt that we didn't get any help in that period, and also that we got some judgment that was not so right. The situation is very much different now, because Italy is the country with the best situation in Europe at this moment. We are pretty proud about what we've done in this period.

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US election seen from Japan: Will US lead again?

Junko Tanaka is a former Washington bureau chief for NHK, Japan's national broadcaster. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Carlos Santamaria: What are two or three issues that people in Japan are concerned about regarding the US election?

JT: First and foremost, we're keen to find out the implications of the election for US foreign policy and trade policy. The US election is normally determined by domestic issues, but there is a stark contrast between Trump and Biden on their world views. We're interested to see how the foreign policy debate unfolds on issues such as relations with China, with Russia, or with traditional allies like Japan and NATO countries. We're also watching how trade issues or global issues may or may not be debated.

For us, Trump represents a protectionist view, whereas Biden has more of an internationalist view. And all this can greatly impact not only US-Japan relations, but international affairs as a whole.

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US election seen from Germany: We need a "US strategy"

Torsten Riecke is an international correspondent for Handelsblatt, the German financial daily. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Carlos Santamaria: Do Germans think the US election will make a difference for them?

TR: When President Trump came into power, it was clear very quickly that the Transatlantic relationship is going to change. And that's what happened. So issues like defense, taking care of Germany's own security, and the latest news that is he is pulling out the troops, which affects communities in Germany. Germany has to spend more money on defense. We have a debate about this now, which I think it's a good thing, but people begin to realize that we are in a new phase of this relationship. It already started before with the Obama administration, because he touched on that issue, too. But it was much more forceful from the Trump administration.

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US election seen from China: Worries about a "hot war"

Wang Xiangwei is an editorial adviser for the South China Morning Post. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Carlos Santamaria: What are, in your opinion, two or three issues that people in Hong Kong and China are concerned about regarding the upcoming US election?

WX: As you know, China and the US are now engaged in a rising confrontation. In this part of the world, we are watching the unfolding presidential election with keen interest. Over the past few weeks, the Trump administration has ordered an end to Hong Kong's special status, and also signed legislation that sanctions the Chinese and Hong Kong officials responsible for cracking down on political dissent in the city. To me, it is very sad to see that Hong Kong has become the battleground where the two great powers have been at each other for political influence.

Secondly, here in Hong Kong lots of people are wondering what else Trump will do to hurt Hong Kong in his efforts to compete with China in the next few months, in the run-up to the presidential election. Also, in China there is a great concern that these two great powers are not only heading for a Cold War — there is an increasing worry that there could be a hot war over the South China Sea, over Taiwan.

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US election seen from South Korea: "US has lost its reputation"

Woo Jung Yeop is a research fellow at Sejong Institute in South Korea. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Carlos Santamaria: What are a few ways you think the US election might impact South Korea?

WJY: Not only the South Korean government, but most people in South Korea view the US election this time through mainly three issues. First is how a Trump second term or a new Biden administration will approach North Korea. Second, how each would approach the alliance issue. And third, how the new US government would approach US-China relations, because that will affect South Korea's geopolitical position in the next four years.

Those three areas could be affected by the result of the election in November. That is why South Korea has a very keen interest in the outcome.

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