Donald Trump, Asia

Highlights of Trump’s Asian Tour

By David Malcolm

If someone from China says ‘may you live in interesting times’, then it means that they don’t like you. After 2016, the curse makes much more sense. Trump is certainly never a dull figure and is often grabbing the headlines, mostly for the wrong reasons. In his first tour of Asia as President, it was hoped that it would pass over without too much controversy. Some hope! The recent events in the USA meant Trump’s trip would probably be overshadowed but it’s worth considering some of the recent highlights from the tour.

North Korea

Nothing gets Trump nice and riled up like North Korea (apart from China, but more on that later) and Trump certainly delivered on that front. Warning the regime that they should not underestimate America, Trump surprised many by claiming that he’d be happy to have a meeting with Kim Jong-un, not now but sometime in the future. Perhaps someone is finally getting through to the President! Of course, knowing Trump and North Korea, this new tone won’t last long, but it’s nice to see a slight change.

China, The Best of Frienemies

Asking who is to blame over the apparent trade deficit between the US and China depends on who you ask. Candidate Trump would, and indeed has, put all the blame on China. This week, it’s all the other presidents who came before. Trump’s faux pas in blaming his own country was quickly followed by lavish praise of China and Xi Jinping, the latter having solidified his power just a couple of weeks ago.

The Chinese president took a leaf out of Macron’s book and sought to massage Trump’s ego which appears to have worked. The fact that Trump didn’t take questions after his press conference or didn’t bring up human rights speaks volumes about how well that strategy worked.

Vietnam And The Fortunate Son 

Trump’s visit to Vietnam was always going to be interesting. For one thing, it’s his first time visiting the country at all after famously dodging the draft several times. Still, he had his own time of suffering after avoiding all those sexually transmitted diseases. Some of those itches put the Viet Cong to shame.

For another thing, he was going to the APEC summit where Trump got back into his famous topic: America First. He slammed every nation there (except Russia) including China that he had praised hours before for being mean to America. Trade imbalances, insulting an audience member, veiled criticism of China, you name it. With that speech, Trump let loose upon a stunned and mostly silent audience a tirade of epic proportions.

It certainly didn’t look good when APEC nations resolved to try to push for the TTP (trans pacific partnership) without the USA. This followed swiftly from Syria signing the Paris Climate Accord, leaving America as one of the only countries to pull out of the latter agreement. Isolation does terrible things to the mind…

Vladmir Putin

It wouldn’t be an international visit if Russia didn’t come up somewhere. This time, it came in the form of Putin and Trump shaking hands and being friends. The biggest twist in the ongoing bromance was Trump’s willingness to believe a former KGB officer over his own intelligence services, his own party, and his own country.

You heard it here first, folks. Putin himself said he had nothing to do with any interference with last year’s election. It’s all a simple misunderstanding. Looks like that story about all those dead voters rising from the grave and committing fraud by voting for Hilary Clinton was true after all. Shame on those hardworking agents of the CIA and FBI for spreading fake news! Shame on all those dead people for committing fraud!

Let’s face it, Putin’s an honest man, after all. No Russian interference in the USA, no plans to divide European nations and, in other news, a unicorn has vomited rainbows on the Fountain of Youth in Atlantis. Can you believe it?

New Best Friends In The Philippines

Sparks will fly this weekend as Trump meets President of the Philippines and long-lost twin brother, Rodrigo Duterte. He’s brash, he’s offensive and he’s actually murdered someone and got voted in office! What could possibly go wrong? Even better, he’s killing drug dealers with his own private militia. What more could Trump possibly ask for, except to do it himself?

It also saves Trump from talking about those tiresome human rights issues about gunning down citizens of the Philippines without due process of law or even a reason. He’s avoided the topic in China, Vietnam and now the Philippines will play host to Trump’s deafening silence on the matter. Heck, with his record, Trump will probably recommend that America follow Duterte’s example regarding drug dealers and Muslims. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the current US President!

Eat, Pray, Vote…Shoot

Domestic issues have mostly overshadowed Trump’s tour of Asia. Democrats pulling off surprise victories was the big news but before that happened, the tragedy of Sutherland Springs hit hard. Trump was on the ball and called for harsh crackdown measures on gun control and lambasted the sick individual who did the deed (Putin told me this so it must be true).

Meanwhile, in reality, Trump struck the same tone as he did over the Las Vegas killing, allowing critics to contrast his previous reaction to the New York terror attack. Turns out that Muslims should be punished more than white shooters and good Nazis. Who would have guessed?

More surprises have emerged regarding Roy Moore where Trump said that he wasn’t on top of it because he didn’t watch much TV. Putin did indeed confirm that Fox News didn’t cover the allegations facing Roy Moore, therefore it didn’t happen.

I'm a historian based in the UK who likes jumping from one thought to next. I love to learn new things and explore other ideas.

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