Many European publications reacted with shock and dismay as Trump took to the stage to accept victory.

In France, left-wing daily Liberation struck a despairing note.

"Trumpocalypse ... Shock. A thunder bolt. And dizziness at the thought that Donald Trump will be unpacking his bags in the White House in scarcely two and a half months.

"The world's leading power is from now on in the hands of the far-right. Fifty per cent of Americans voted in all conscience for a racist, lying, sexist, vulgar, hateful candidate."

Conservative French daily Le Figaro said in a front-page editorial that the US was a "country in need of reuniting."

As the election started, German newspaper Die Welt reproduced the poster of the film Apocalypse Now, with Trump's face Photoshopped in above the film's title, while the online edition of Tageszeitung ran with the headline "Victory of the horror clown".

Writing in Britain's Daily Telegraph, columnist Tim Stanley was cautiously optimistic as the result was confirmed, urging us to "keep calm and carry on".

"For the last 18 months we've seen the public face of Trump, not the private reality. His business record is controversial, granted. But there's also evidence of success and experience in running large organisations that most new presidents have never had.

"He's more experienced in hiring and firing than Obama was and far better travelled than George W Bush.

"Politicians of all stripes have been happily dealing with him for years – including the Clintons."


Sections of Russian media reacted with jubilance, hailing the result as a victory over the Western liberal 'establishement'.

"The world is sick of the establishment, and the lies it tells through its arrogant mainstream media," said Russia Today's editor in chief Margarita Simoyan on Twitter. "People are tired of war. They're tired of the mass media. They're tired of aggressive liberalism. They're tired of immigrants. Whether it's good or bad, it's simply a fact."

Rossiya 1 TV described Donald Trump's win as "a real sensation". Its Washington correspondent said: "It's a political earthquake in the US and the world, an historic fait accompli."

An "ill democracy"

China's state media portrayed the result as proof of the instability of American democracy, and the stability of China's authoritarian system.

The state-run Xinhua news agency said the presidential campaign illustrated that "the majority of Americans are rebelling against the US's political class and financial elites".

The official newspaper of the Communist Party, People's Daily, said the presidential race had shown America had an "ill democracy".

In Mexico, coverage focused on the peso's decline against the dollar, with El Universal reporting the currency was in "free fall".

In the Middle East, an analyst on pan-Arab Al-Maydan TV said the decision was likely to have little impact on the conflicts raging in the region.

"Wars in Iraq, Syria, Libya continued regardless of who was in charge... I have not noticed any change that would allow us to say now that Republican policy would be worse or better for the Middle East."