US Election 2016

US election: World press reacts to Trump's Republican advance

US Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Trump's win in Indiana has virtually secured him the Republican presidential nomination

Donald Trump's virtual victory in the race for the US Republican presidential nomination, following his win in Indiana and rival Ted Cruz's exit, has made headlines around the world.

Many newspapers say there are now no real chances to stop him from being the party's candidate.

Some point to the divisions his name sparks among fellow Republicans.

Reports have also highlighted the challenges Hillary Clinton still faces in securing the Democratic nomination.

In France, centre-right newspaper Le Figaro says Ted Cruz "has lost his insane bet" and has been "flattened by the Donald Trump steamroller".

Left-leaning Liberation said Indiana's primary was a "turning point in the campaign".

"So this Wednesday morning, Europe wakes up to Donald Trump across the Atlantic as the presumptive Republican nominee. A man who many considered just a few months ago as a clown. Many voters vote Trump precisely because he has no political experience and has never held elected office."

Centre-left Le Monde highlighted Mr Cruz's ultra-conservative "lost battle".

"Ted Cruz bet on giving a face and a voice to a conservatism that was, according to him, neglected by the Republican party. The Texas senator intended to draw apathetic voters back to the polls by embodying the most conservative values. This bet was lost and the ultimate failure came" in Indiana.

In Germany, conservative Die Welt says "the craziest US presidential election campaign begins", and that "the unthinkable has come to pass".

It says many Democrats think a Trump win means "an easy game" for Hillary Clinton, but cautions that the continued strong showing for her left-wing challenger Bernie Sanders means "she still has a problem with winning over the anti-establishment camp".

"And if the last eleven months has taught us anything about Trump, it is that you mustn't underestimate him".

Munich's centre-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung, declares Mr Trump's Indiana win the "unbelievable" culmination of a "historic election marked by an element of madness".

"Shock! it's Trump!" declares the centre-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. "There's no doubt now, it will be Trump versus Clinton".

In Spain, the centre-left El Pais newspaper says Republicans "have finally admitted" that Mr Trump will be their candidate and that the "conservative elite has seen the options to stop the New York magnate exhausted".

In Italy, the liberal daily Corriere de la Sierra says the "Republican establishment now seems ready, or resigned" to Mr Trump's name.

Centre-left La Repubblica says Mr Trump's wins opens a difficult internal challenge for Republicans. "The choice for GOP voters who do not want the tycoon is limited to two options: boycott the polls and choose the protest vote endorsing Hillary [Clinton]."

In the Netherlands, liberal NRC says Mr Trump has rewritten the rules of campaigning for decades to come. "From a farcical act, it became a party revolt, and it finished last night with a Republican power grab".

The paper says his rival Ted Cruz saw himself as the saviour of the Republican Party, a second Moses. "But Republicans, like the Israelites, worshipped the Golden Calf."

In Belgium, centrist newspaper De Standaard observed that Mr Trump called Mr Cruz "a hell of a candidate" - after having called him a liar earlier in the day.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Some reports highlight challenges posed by Bernie Sanders to Mrs Clinton's Democratic nomination

Even before Mr Trump's win in Indiana, he was already a major talking point in China, as newspapers led with articles about his "trade rape" comment. Reference News says: "Trump stuns by attacking China".

Phoenix News has the top line: "American people say that if Trump becomes president, democracy will be finished."

There is also a commentary on Global Times' website which says: "Americans are beginning to hate the political elite as voters gamble by betting on Trump."

"Voters are willing to gamble on the future of the United States, and let the outsider and political madman race on."

Chinese commentators emphasise that they do not think Mr Trump will become president.

In Russia, the official TV channels have declared Mr Trump the "de facto Republican presidential candidate". In the Democratic side, they consider the battle for the nomination far from over.

Channel One says "suspense continues in the Democratic camp, even though Hilary Clinton seems the clear front-runner". Rossiya 24 says "the battle among the Democrats is more serious" given Bernie Sanders's win in Indiana.

The popular news website features a report from Indiana under the eye-grabbing headline "capitalist pigs".

It says the biggest question remains whether Mr Trump "can overcome the resistance of the party machine and become the Republican candidate without a clear political programme, and armed with only populist slogans and vitriolic accusations against his competitors".

Yes, he can, the report concluded, point out that Mr Trump switched from "wrath to kindness" as soon as Mr Cruz conceded.

The official Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper gloats that the "nightmare of the American conservative elite has come to pass" with Mr Trump's win.

As for the presidential election itself, commentator Igor Dunayevsky says it's too early to call, given Mrs Clinton's "demonstrable weakness, and Donald Trump's unpredictability. He has time and time again confounded the predictions of pundits and opinion polls".

In Iran, moderate website Asr-e Iran carried a commentary headlined "Miracle of Trump amid inferno of Republicans".

It says that it is very unlikely that Mr Trump will beat Mrs Clinton in the elections, adding: "Undoubtedly, the Republican party is already the major loser of the US presidential election unless Trump, the magician... is able to do something to reduce his distance from his Democrat rival."

Reaction compiled with BBC Monitoring