'Trump's visit one of most embarrassing foreign trips taken by

Elias Hubbard
November 14, 2017

In a speech before South Korea's national assembly last week, Mr. Trump warned North Korea not to "underestimate" the U.S.

And yet there were subtler signs of tension, which spoke to the conflicting messages Trump brought to Asia and suggested a level of disarray in the White House's policy toward the region. So far the only damage has been to the United States itself as it sees the policies of 70 years which have so benefited trade and prosperity in the U.S. itself as well as much of Asia viewed as contrary to USA interests. But at an Asia-Pacific summit in Vietnam, he declared that redressing the uneven balance of trade between Asia and the United States was at the centre of his "America First" policy, which he says will protect USA workers.

But this theme was largely lost in the jeremiad on trade. He is senior fellow for the Maryland Public Policy Institute.

As Air Force One took off from Manila on Tuesday at the end of the longest trip to Asia by an American president in more than quarter of a century, at least two of the region's leaders had good reason to feel satisfied.

"Without exaggeration, the president's trip to Asia has been one of the most embarrassing foreign trips a president has taken in my memory".

"The United States has to be treated fairly and in a reciprocal fashion", Trump tweeted from Manila. Meanwhile, regional cooperation in Association of Southeast Asian Nations continues to grow, as do successful Vietnamese partnerships with Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

This library confirms the message China was already sending the world in 2005, at an exhibition organized by the Chinese government at London's Royal Academy of Arts. The Chinese leader also said Vietnam had agreed to "further deepen" bilateral ties. Both leaders attended the ASEAN conference over the weekend, where the issue of the South China Sea was widely discussed. Dedicated to Chinese art from the 17th and 18th centuries, one of the main works at this exhibition consisted in a very big painting of a European Jesuit style that portrayed an endless line of foreign ambassadors, a lot of them Westerners, lining up to pay homage to the Chinese Emperor. "He's a very smart person".

But then he surprisingly said: "But I don't blame China". "Because over a period of years, they will be treating us much differently than they have in the past". Together, we have, in our power, to finally liberate this region, and the world, from this very serious nuclear business. "And that's a good thing that we get along; that's not a bad thing".

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said "human rights briefly came up", but Harry Roque, a spokesman for Duterte, said "there was no mention of human rights". He can not solicit Chinese cooperation on one vital issue and threaten China on another.

Trump reportedly reminded his counterpart in a private meeting that he had been president for 10 months, and asked what Phuc was waiting for to buy arms.

Moreover, Trump soft-pedalled his call for China not to colonize the South China Sea. Nor will "America First" be allowed to eclipse the hard efforts made in recent years to overcome the painful legacy of the Vietnam War and deepen defense and security cooperation.

While Trump has cultivated a close relationship with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, as well as Japan's Shinzo Abe, and has worked to improve relations with South Korea's Moon Jae-in, he has not been able to work on his relationship with Russia's Putin.

During his visit to China, President Trump would have been well inspired to visit the futuristic library, shaped like a giant eye, that recently opened in Tianjin. But some Asian countries are no longer as ready to pick fights with China.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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