Newspapers and politicians around the world have been reacting to Boris Johnson's appointment as UK foreign secretary. Many were surprised, citing his history of faux pas including insulting the president of Turkey and commenting on the US president's ...
The world of politics, diplomacy and celebrity has reacted with a mixture of amusement and horror to the news that Boris Johnson has been appointed Britainâ€™s new foreign secretary.
Related: Britain's new foreign secretary Boris Johnson: a career of international gaffes
Johnson himself said he was â€œexcitedâ€ to take up the new role , which will involve travelling the globe, meeting foreign leaders and representing Britain on the international stage.
However, his track record when it comes to interacting with other cultures is patchy to say the least, and politicians around the world will no doubt be intrigued by the prospect of working with a man who once wrote a poem about the Turkish president having sex with a goat.
In the US, the official reaction was one of carefully restrained laughter.
When State Department spokesman Mark Toner heard the news, he struggled to keep a straight face â€“ a broad smile breaking out more than once â€“ before saying the US â€œlooked forwardâ€ to working with Johnson.
Toner was not alone in his bemusement. American political scientist Ian Bremmer hoped it might all be an elaborate joke.
In Germany, the chancellor, Angela Merkel, declined to comment on Mayâ€™s surprise decision to appoint Johnson when asked by reporters. â€œI believe it is our task to work closely with governments in allied countries. The world has enough problems for us to progress in our foreign policy cooperation with Great Britain as we have always done,â€ she said. The hashtag #AuÃŸenminister (foreign minister) however captured the national mood.
Ralf Stegner, deputy chairman of the Social Democratic Party, the junior partner in Merkelâ€™s coalition, said â€œMrs May looks weaker after such a choice of personnelâ€. Johnson had not come across as an exemplary diplomat in the past, Stegner said. â€œNow he is negotiating Brexit. Enjoy the trip!â€
Simone Peter, co-leader of the Green Party, likened Johnsonâ€™s appointment to â€œtrusting the cat to keep the creamâ€. Green Party parliamentary co-leader Anton Hofreiter said appointing Johnson was â€œa very bad sign for the leaving process and raises doubts over the competency of the new prime ministerâ€.
The Brussels correspondent of German public broadcaster ZDF, Anne Gellink, said that Johnson was â€œproperly, properly hatedâ€ and seen as â€œthe head of a campaign of liesâ€ in the EUâ€™s headquarters. ZDFâ€™s Berlin correspondent, Nicole Diekmann, tweeted: â€œSo, Boris Johnson, foreign minister. British humourâ€.
Nikolaus Blome, the deputy editor of Germanyâ€™s biggest tabloid Bild, tweeted: â€œThereâ€™s justice after all. As foreign minister, Boris Johnson now has to lie in the bed he made himselfâ€
Swedenâ€™s former prime minister Carl Bildt was among those despairing over the decision.
And Cher was, well, not happy.
Scottish crime writer Val McDermid was similarly unimpressed.
The worldâ€™s second largest economy was scratching its head as it woke up to the news that Boris Johnson - or â€œBao Li Siâ€ as he is known in Chinese - had been made foreign secretary.
â€œWhatâ€™s going on?â€ one baffled Chinese commentator wrote on a popular WeChat group dedicated to life in Britain.
â€œForeign secretary Boris is going to hog the global headlines,â€ the writer predicted, adding: â€œDoes Auntie May think he is a mascot? I can hardly bear to watch it unfold on [state broadcaster] CCTV.â€
Weibo, Chinaâ€™s answer to Twitter, also erupted in a bout of Borisology, with many observers focusing on the former London mayorâ€™s hair rather than his foreign policy experience.
â€œJust from looking at Boris Johnson you can tell that British hairdressing is not doing so well,â€ quipped one. â€œHeâ€™s so funny!â€ celebrated another.
Not all observers in China, where Johnson is seen more as a celebrity than a politicalactor, were so enthusiastic.
â€œWhat are they doing?â€ one critic of Theresa Mayâ€™s selection asked on Weibo. â€œBoris will be in charge of diplomacy???â€
There was also bewilderment at Johnsonâ€™s appointment in Beijingâ€™s diplomatic circles.
During his last trip to China in 2013, the loquacious London mayor bamboozled Chinese interpreters with his use of words such as polymorphous and joked about his Bullingdon Club days to a senior Communist party leader.
â€œThe idea of having Boris Johnson as foreign secretary never even entered my mind,â€ admitted one senior western diplomat.
The diplomat, who keeps one eye on Westminster politics, described Johnsonâ€™s appointment as a risky move that had the potential to backfire badly.
â€œBut sometimes a bit of charisma helps give you more visibility. Letâ€™s see if he is more pragmatic and less of a performer in his new job.â€
In the hours after Johnsonâ€™s unveiling, British residents of the Chinese capital were bombarded with sarcastic messages from fellow expats.
â€œWhat is happening to your country?â€ read one provocation sent to the Guardian.
Another, less diplomatic dispatch sent to a functionary of the British embassy said simply: â€œYour new boss is a plonker.â€
Some, however, believe Johnson is the right man for the job.
Among his fans is the former Australian prime minister, Tony Abbott - who once threatened to â€œshirtfrontâ€ Vladimir Putin.
Additional reporting by Christy Yao
Boris Johnson,Politics,UK news,US news,World news,Conservative leadership,Theresa May