Asia Reacts to the 2016 Democratic and Republican National Conventions

Share this:

From July 25-28, 2016, the United States held its Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During the convention the Democratic Party officially nominated Hillary Clinton as the first ever female presidential nominee and Tim Kaine as the vice presidential nominee. The Democratic Party also released its party platform.

Click on a country to jump down to its specific reactions: ChinaJapanSouth Korea 

To view Asia's reactions to the Republican National Convention, scroll down or click here. 

To view additional topics in the Asia Reacts to... series, scroll down or click here


"Rhetoric from the Chinese public on social media often echoes official rhetoric on Clinton. In a society where a woman has never had a seat on the Chinese Communist Party's Politburo Standing Committee (China's inner circle of power), a standard put-down of a strong woman is usually to call her 'harsh,' or worse, and to connect success in her career to failure in family life."

 "The new e-mail scandal indicates that American-style democracy has deviated from genuine democracy. The democratic system stimulated the fast development of the US and Europe in the beginning, but now these countries can only maintain themselves. As they are models of democracy, some developing countries tried to imitate them, but have been plagued with problems." 


"During her tenure at the State Department, meanwhile, Clinton made Tokyo happy when she picked Japan as the first country to visit after being appointed. [...] She also has numerous Japan experts as her foreign policy advisers, including Kurt Campbell, former assistant secretary of state for East Asain and Pacific affairs, whom Japanese officials know well." 


"The depth of knowledge on international affairs accumulated from her service in the Senate and leading the State Department equipped her with an advantage over Senator Sanders as well as her GOP counterpart [Trump]. Coupled with her time as first lady alongside her husband and 42nd U.S. President Bill Clinton, she has a wealth of experience in public service which is one of her greatest assets as a presidential candidate." 

From July 18-21, 2016, the United States held its Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland, Ohio. During the convention the Republican Party officially nominated Donald Trump and Mike Pence as its 2016 presidential nominee and vice presidential nominees, respectively, and released its party platform. 

Click on a country to jump down to its specific reactions: AustraliaChinaHong KongIndiaJapanNew ZealandSingaporeSouth KoreaTaiwan


"The tendency of Trump (and Hanson and Xenophon) to offer protectionism as an answer is the scariest bit. Australia turning protectionist would just make the nation poorer, consumers worse off, outward-looking industries uncompetitive and encourage the protected to be inefficient. The US turning protectionist would do that as well, but it also would result in retaliation that would lower global growth and cause a massive increase in poverty." 

"Mr. Beazley predicted Canberra would come under intense pressure from a confrontation in the region if Mr. Trump took office and acted on his plans to withdraw military support for Japan and South Korea while also taking a more confrontational approach to China." 

 “’It's clear the Republican Party is divided ... and Mr Trump is not your normal candidate. That is obviously a strength for him, but the Republican Party doesn't know whether it is shaped by Donald Trump's policies or the traditional policies of the Republican Party.’" – Joe Hockey,  Australian Ambassador to the United States

"If the conduct of the convention to date is any guide, then clearly Trump has embraced the challenging notion that he can win by making the election a referendum on Hillary Clinton. That's pretty much how he has campaigned to date - damning Clinton and offering himself as a guy who can get the best deal for America, but rarely padding out his proposals with policy detail. It's a dubious proposition." 


"The Chinese internet users who support Trump do so for a number of different reasons. Many see him as a successful businessman and respect him for that. His image resonates with China's obsession with fortune-seeking today, and people believe that his pragmatic way of conducting business, when translated to politics, would play to China's advantage. Some believe that the stability and development China enjoys today can be attributed at least in part to the Communist Party's iron-fisted leadership, and Trump might be a similarly powerful leader. Most enjoy watching him as the 'reality show star' of the U.S. presidential campaign. The fact that he is running is the biggest reason they actively follow the campaign." 

"All political parties in the United States should view China's development in an objective and rational manner and correctly understand the issues that emerge in bilateral ties. We hope relevant parties stop their groundless accusations against China and interference in China's domestic affairs and contribute more to bilateral trust and cooperation." - Lu Kang, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson 

"The convention displays a Trump-led GOP full of anger and ultra-conservatism, which even reminds the people across the Pacific Ocean of what we endured during the 10-year calamitous Cultural Revolution (1966-1976)- like struggle sessions. The severity of this round of China-bashing, although a routine tactic in the US presidential season, is one of the harshest, indicating how desperate Trump is to paper over the US' own problems and create an illusion that he has the solutions." 

"The worse the country's social condition is, the more unstable its economy, the better for the Republican Party." - Zhang Guoqing, Research Fellow, Institute of American Studies, CASS 


"Writing on the implications for Asia of a Trump presidency, Nomura analysts Young Sun Kwon and Minoru Nogimori said: 'Hong Kong is the entrepot for a significant amount of business between China and the US. Declining trade volumes would be negative for local business in packaging exports from the mainland destined for the US, container ports and transshipment. This would have a knock-on effect on other sectors." 


"In February, [Trump] said ] 'India is taking our jobs. It is not going to happen anymore, folks!' But the Republican platform document says this - 'Republicans note with pride the contributions to our country that are made by our fellow citizens of Indian ancestry.' So does he want more of us or doesn't he? Can't tell. On China, Trump is combative. This could go either way for India. Any US-China confrontation could cause instability in Asia which is not good for India." 

"Trump has no interest in being a pro-India president even if [Shalabh] Kumar fantasizes about that. While he claims he wants to make 'America First Again' that America is back, 'bigger and better and stronger than ever before,' what he was really selling was something quite different." 

"'There is a big difference between candidate [Donald] Trump and incumbent [Trump]. When a President becomes incumbent, the real world, governance come into the picture." - R Chandrashekar, President, National Association of Software and Service Companies 


According to the report, conducted by Japanese research house Nomura, "While Mr. Trump has threatened trade barriers against Mexico, Japan and China, the knock-on effects from China-the world's largest manufacturing assembler- to other Asian countries that are major suppliers of high value-added parts and components to China would be substantial." 

"A sense of crisis is building in Tokyo following the Republican Party's official nomination of Donald Trump as its candidate for the U.S. presidential race, as Trump's isolationist assertions, which undervalue U.S. allies, could destabilize Japan-U.S. relations if he is elected president." 


"He [Trump] seems to regard foreign security commitments with much the same distaste he has for trade deals. He sees them as weighted against the US and thinks one way to "make America great again" is to withdraw from them if they do not serve a very narrow view of America's needs. [...] The retreat is unlikely to succeed in economic terms. Trade and technology has permeated too deeply. But defence treaties are easily weakened, and can be undone with a careless word." 


An in-depth look into how a potential Trump presidency would affect the economies of Asia. 

"For much of Asia, openness in international trade has been a key driver of economic growth. The unstoppable demand of American consumerism has been a source of enormous demand in many Asian economies. Higher trade tariffs with Asia-one of Trump's main intentions-would result in higher prices for goods produced in Asia.[...] And in a world where international trade diminishes, Singapore certainly stands to lose." 


"'Trump's speech should be seen as a warning about the security alliance between the two countries regardless of the U.S. presidential election result." - Yang Uk, Senior Research Fellow, Korea Defense and Security Forum

"If Trump does get elected, Korea will have two urgent issues: an increase in Korea's share of national defense expenses and renegotiation of the Korea-US FTA. Economically, readjusting the Korea-U.S. alliance would not be easy when Washington is taking a nationalist position. When the Republican Party takes over the administration in 2000, the Kim Dae-jung administration did not foresee any change in the U.S. policies on the Korean Peninsula. Later the government collided with the Bush administration's aggressive policies on North Korea. The government should not make the same mistake again." 


Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Deputy Secretary Lee Chun-yee, who is leading a delegation to attend the Republican National Convention (RNC), said the US party's platform is the most favorable toward Taiwan, especially the inclusion of the "Six Assurances" made in 1982 under the Reagan administration. 

The Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio adopted a party platform this week that includes the "Six Assurances" given to Taiwan by President Ronald Reagan, which is sharply critical of China, for the first time. 

"Taiwan has long enjoyed friendly relations with both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party of the U.S. The inclusion once again of firm and positive statements regarding Taiwan in the Republican Party platform demonstrates the great importance the party attaches to Taiwan-U.S. relations, as well as its members' long-term support for Taiwan." - Eleanor Wang, Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman 


Additional Topics in the Asia Reacts to... Series

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter's Trip to India and the Philippines
Secretary of State John Kerry's Historic Visit to Hiroshima
Donald Trump's Comments on Possible Nuclear Armament of Japan and South Korea
 Nominations of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump 
 Donald Trump's First Foreign Policy Speech
 President Barack Obama's First Visit to Vietnam
President Barack Obama's Historic Visit to Hiroshima
 Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Fourth Visit to the United States
 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Deployment
President Barack Obama's Final Trip to Asia
 First Presidential Debate of the 2016 US Election
 Second Presidential Debate of the 2016 US Election
Final Presidential Debate of the 2016 US Election
 Election of Donald Trump as 45th President of the United States
 President-Elect Donald Trump's Talks with Asian Leaders
The Inauguration of Donald J. Trump
 President Donald Trump's Executive Order on the Trans-Pacific Partnership 
 US Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord
 President Donald Trump's First Visit to Asia

Back to top