Trump in Asia


Trump feeding Koi fishes with President Shinzo Abe. Photo credit: The Indian Express

Grace Kim, Photojournalist

Kicking off on November 5, 2017, Donald Trump took a five nation Asia tour to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The overall reaction to Trump declaring his stay in Asia was very positive. For an example, Christine Ding (11) argued that the Trump Asia Tour was a success because “as the president of our country, the United States, it is beneficial to negotiate with other countries to form bonds and have relations. [she] felt that Trump going on the Asia tour was a wise move for the nation’s future economics and politics”


President Trump first visited Japan to congratulate recently re-elected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and to discuss the issue of North Korea’s missile crisis. Even when discussing about politics and economics, Mr. Trump and Mr. Abe made sure to enjoy an eventful evening of golf at the World No.4 Hideki Matsuyama. In fact, headline news was made when it was revealed that Prime Minister Abe took a backward roll on the bunker when he lost his balance climbing up the slope. One Twitter user tweeted, “I saw that PM Abe did a backward roll and fell as he was getting out of a bunker. It’s not that I support him and am trying to say favorable things about him, but that was a beautiful way to fall.”


On November 6, 2017, Donald Trump met South Korean president, Moon Jae-in. During this meeting, both Donald Trump and Moon Jae-in agreed to take a peaceful approach in confronting North Korea. While in South Korea, they visited the National Cemetery in Seoul giving respect to the soldiers that died. In addition, prior to meeting Moon Jae-in, Donald Trump had lunch at the U.S military base, Camp Humphreys, located south of Seoul.


Following Trump’s visit to South Korea, the president arrived in China to meet President Xi Jinping. During Trump’s stay, he and the first lady toured the Forbidden City, a historic palace that housed emperors for around 500 years. Following the event, Donald trump was greeted into the Great Hall of the People by young children holding  flags and flowers. The president of China and the President of the United States discussed trade relationships and a united  North Korean front.


After China, Trump visited Vietnam on November 10 for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders’ Meeting (APEC). During this meeting, Donald Trump rebuked trade practices that were detrimental to the American economy. In which, Trump quotes, “I am always going to put America first, the same way I expect all of you in this room to put your countries first.” After taking a one day break at Hanoi, Vietnam, the president proceeded to go to the Philippines for the last leg of his Asia Tour.


Donald Trump and Melania Trump were greeted with a warm welcome from the Philippines on November 13. Donald Trump discussed briefly with Vietnam president, President Rodrigo Duterte, about human rights and Duterte’s bloody war on drugs. Afterwards,  both presidents proceeded in attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit.


November 14: Trump wrapped up his Asia tour and returned to the United States. Before leaving, Trump remarked, “It has been an incredible 12 days; I have made a lot of friends at the highest levels. … We have accomplished a lot. I have enjoyed it very much.”