World leaders remember George HW Bush

World Today

(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 8, 1992, US President George Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush take an early morning stroll along Washington, DC’s, Tidal Basin. Barbara Bush is in “failing health” after a series of hospitalizations and “has decided not to seek additional medical treatment,” her husband’s office said in a statement on April 15, 2018. It said that Mrs. Bush, after consulting with relatives and doctors, had decided to “focus on comfort care” at the family home in Houston. (AFP PHOTO / LUKE FRAZZA)

As world leaders are gathered at the G20 Summit, the death of George HW Bush is on the minds of many.

CGTN’s Toby Muse reports on reaction to the death of the 41st U.S. president. 

The tributes came rushing in from across the world following the death of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush late Friday night.

Chinese President Xi Jinping offered his condolences while meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump: “I’m greatly saddened by the passing of the late President Bush who is someone who had made an important contribution to China-us friendship and relationship during his lifetime.”

Speaking alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, President Donald Trump praised the former 41st president.

“He was a very fine man, he was just a high-quality man who truly loved his family,” Trump said.

“George Bush Senior leaves us a life’s work, that is an incentive,” said Merkel. “It is worth creating trust and placing trust in the relationship between states. We Germans will be grateful to George Bush.”

The White House designated next Wednesday, December 5th, a national day of mourning. Also, flags will fly at half-staff at public buildings for the next 30 days.

Trump will attend Bush’s state funeral at Washington’s National Cathedral – a reversal of when he did not attend former First Lady Barbara Bush’s funeral earlier this year.

Trump has frequently clashed with the Bush family. Bush, a lifelong Republican, voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election to avoid pulling the lever for Trump.

For some, Bush was a reminder of a time when politics was more friendly: “You know, he was such a gentleman and a gentleman. And really speaks to a different political era than what we have today,” said Joyce Fleck, a tourist visiting Washington DC. “And probably many of us would like to return to a day where it’s a little kinder and gentler and shaking hands across the aisle if you will.” 

Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet leader, praised Bush’s “attention, kindness and simplicity.”

 The messages of respect from afar were a reminder that Bush’s presidency was perhaps as consequential abroad as it was at home.