The US president must grapple with the thorny issues of North Korea’s nuclear ambitions as well as trade wars in Asia on one of the trickiest diplomatic tours in decades.
5 November 2017
Trump warns of the North Korean threat and says Japanese orders for US-made military equipment will help keep Japan safe.
7 November 2017
The North Korea rhetoric softens as the president suggests he is open to diplomatic efforts to resolve the nuclear crisis.
8 November 2017
Xi Jinping rolls out the red carpet for Trump, who lavishes kudo on his host and blames his American predecessors for the ‘huge’ trade deficit between the US and China.
10 November 2017
Trump swingings through Da Nang for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting( featuring one Vladimir Putin ), before flying to Hanoi for talks with Vietnam’s president about boosting economic and security cooperation.
12 November 2017
US-Filipino relations have plummeted under President Rodrigo Duterte, who shares some populist and mercurial characteristics with his guest. The war on drugs and Islamic terror could join North Korea on the agenda.
Here are five possible Trump moments where there could be drama.
Russian president Vladimir Putin
Trump’s relationship with the Russian president is a colossal issue in Washington. Any meeting will be forensically analysed back home.
A face-to-face talk would take place directly after fresh details emerged of
an ambitious plot by a former Trump campaign foreign policy aide to arrange a meeting with Putin ahead of the election- the most explicit evidence yet of a campaign official’s attempts to work with the Kremlin.
The revelation, and the
indictment by the FBI of two other Trump associates, has added to the view held by Trump’s political enemies that the president or his campaign coordinated with Russia to manipulate the US election.
When Putin and Trump met at the G20 in July, the talks lasted two hours and 16 minutes- far longer than expected- and the pair afterward had an
undisclosed second session where Trump was the only US official present, adding further intrigue.
Philippine chairman Rodrigo Duterte
This is one to watch: two of the world’s most bad-tempered leaders with a penchant for unscripted statements, both in the same room.
Duterte, a former mayor nicknamed” the Punisher” who once
bragged about killing a human by hurling him out of a helicopter, pulls no punches when commenting on other leaders. He called Barack Obama a ” son of prostitute “~ ATAGEND after the former chairwoman criticised his bloody war on narcotics, in which police have killed thousands and been accused of extrajudicial killings. Possibly bonding over their reciprocal disfavor for Obama, Trump and Duterte have got along well. A senior US official said the two had a” warm rapport” and a leaked copy of a phone call between them revealed Trump praising the Philippine leader for an ” unbelievable undertaking “~ ATAGEND in the fight against narcotics. However, both strongmen-style leaders tend to fall out with people, often publicly.
The pair might not meet in Vietnam but they are already scheduled for a bilateral on Monday in Manila, the final leg of Trump’s tour, at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit.
New Zealand “ministers ” Jacinda Ardern
A day after Trump’s inauguration,
Jacinda Ardern, an MP for the Labour party in New Zealand, joined thousands in Auckland as part of a global women’s procession. It had been organised as a rebuke to the election of a billionaire once caught on tape bragging about his ability to “grab” women ” by the pussy “.
The 37 -year-old took the party’s leadership in August and went on to
become the youngest New Zealand PM in 150 years, and the country’s third female leader.
There are signs that Ardern would not allow a sexist remark from Trump to go undefended. In August, when asked by a radio host if women should tell their employers if they planned to have children, she
responded angrily, saying:” It is totally unacceptable in 2017 to say that women should have to answer that question in the workplace, it is unacceptable, it is unacceptable .”
In an interview with the Guardian before her election, she
said she would be “a diplomat” in any meeting with Trump.” Despite us coming from different parts of the political spectrum, that is not new for world leaders and I have to respect republic and the people who’ve chosen their leader in the United States .”
Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull
Their first call in January,
a copy of which was leaked in August, was an acrimonious exchange that Trump told Turnbull was his” most unpleasant call all day “.
The pair clashed over a deal, brokered by Obama, for the US to accept hundreds of refugees currently held on Manus Island and Nauru under Australia’s offshore detention programme.
” I think we should respect deals ,” said Turnbull, who has been
criticised for the desperate conditions in the camps. Even Trump asked why he hadn’t” let them into your society ?”
A clearly unhappy Trump said the deal was ” stupid” and would “kill” him politically, dedicated his status as” the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country “.
Turnbull and Trump later attempted to clear the air during their
first face-to-face meeting in New York in May, where they were all smiles and compliments. But merely about 50 of the 1,250 people agreed under the Obama deal have since been accepted by the American government. And pressure has mounted on the Australian leader to find a solution.
Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak
These two are golfing buddies, and Najib maintains a photo of Trump on his desk.
But the relationship is overshadowed by a
corruption probe into Najib that is being conducted by the US justice department, the largest foreign kleptocracy investigation ever launched.
The veteran prime minister faces allegations that billions were stolen from a sovereign wealth fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad, in complex overseas deals.
While both the cabinet of ministers and the fund deny any wrongdoing, the justice department has filed civil lawsuits to
seize assets, from top-end real estate to famous artworks.
Trump has avoided the questions, but the Malaysian leadership is sensitive to anything that might be seen as a snub by Trump.
Najib might be hankering for another photo op and has played up his Washington visit.” I had an invite to play golf with Trump. Trump also strolled me to my automobile. We still get the highest accolade from the US administration ,” Malay Mail Online
quoted Najib as saying in parliament.