The Other Side of Reagan
In India, Reagan's stand against communism made less of an impression than his overtures to India's government, which had long been alienated from the United States.
The Economic Times of India said, "Reagan will be remembered by India as the man who thawed Indo-US relations."
"He did so by a masterstroke — meeting former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi face to face. He told her, 'in the future, let us talk to each other, not about each other," said the ET.
But for the Newindpress, Reagan was "a charming enigma."
"Was he the man in charge or simply a puppet?" asked the south India news site. "The master politician or a manipulated performer?"
That sense of incomprehension was widespread in the Third World, wrote columnist Pranay Gupte in Singapore's Straits Times.
"Reagan was not universally beloved in the 135 countries of the developing world, nor was he especially well understood. His presidency was often perceived as a swaggering statement about American military and political pre-eminence in a world in which the erstwhile Soviet Union was already imploding."
Yet Gupte credited Reagan with shaping poor countries more than any other post-war American president.
"In many ways, he can rightly be called the father of contemporary globalisation," Gupte wrote. "His consistent prescriptions of free markets, leaner bureaucracies, more transparency in government, fewer price subsidies and open elections, are today considered de rigueur in poor countries."
"That his formula was often not culturally or politically applicable in the Third World did not occur to Mr. Reagan -- or if it did, he showed a blithe disregard for such realities," Gupte added.
"He articulated a vision for a world of more democracy and sustained economic growth. And for that, as much as anything else, he's likely to be remembered, even in chancelleries where his name was once anathema."
For Xinhua, the state-controlled Chinese news agency, Reagan had the good sense to honor the glory that is China.
His death evoked memories in the state-controlled press of a long-forgotten visit in April 1984 when Reagan became "the first in-office US president to visit China after the two nations established diplomatic relations."
Courteously passing over Reagan's lifelong sympathy for the much-loathed anti-communists in Taiwan, Xinhua recalled that "Reagan said he came to China for friendship and peace, as the American people have always revered the achievements of the Chinese civilization and cherished the warmest friendly feelings towards the Chinese people."
"He had an accord with the American people, who warmed to his vision of themselves as a nation of optimistic individualists, blessed by God and by destiny," wrote the editors of the Guardian of London.
As a result, Reagan, while "often mocked abroad," has "become something of a cult" at home. "In this as in other things," they conclude, "what made America feel good about itself makes others deeply alarmed."
© 2004 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive