What do foreign friends and foes think of Trump’s ‘Disunited States of America’?


Jim Hoagland is a contributing editor to The Post and a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution. DOHA, Qatar The first glimpses the world has caught of Donald Trump’s America have unsettled allies and encouraged adversaries. Both camps anticipate that they will be dealing with the “Disunited States of America” throughout Trump’s presidency. That phrase comes from Wang Jisi, a Chinese academic with a bent for straight talk. Trump’s election “was hardly a victory for democracy,” he harrumphed. But it was welcomed by the Chinese people, who gain from the weakening of U.S. moral authority in world affairs and who feel a certain kinship with the New York real estate magnate. Wang spoke this week at the World Policy Conference, an annual gathering of a hundred or so government officials, international financial experts and other opinion leaders organized by the French Institute of International Relations, a think tank. The United States’ domineering ways have long been Topic A at international gabfests. But this year there was a plaintive, even elegiac quality to the discussion of “the deeply divided American nation” and its perceived desire to quit trade agreements, wall itself off in a snit of “populist exclusion” and “cowardly look the other way” as Russia commits atrocities in Syria, to choose a few of the complaints registered here. The delegates seemed to have absorbed the obvious: The strategic retrenchment begun by President Obama will accelerate under Trump’s conflicted leadership and end the post-Vietnam era of active U.S. deployment and leadership… more detail