Friday, 06 December, 2019


President Trump abruptly concludes Asia tour: 'We've accomplished a lot'

Duterte Sings a Love Song for Trump at a Gala in the Philippines Duterte Sings a Love Song for Trump at a Gala in the Philippines
Bennie Garza | 16 November, 2017, 06:52

There was no pressure from Trump over the Philippines' bloody war on drugs during a meeting on Monday with President Rodrigo Duterte on the sidelines of the summit. But given the administration's lack of credibility in raising human rights abuses, he said, they have pivoted to a different tack, focusing on global attention. "Under such an atmosphere, Xi Jinping won't completely reject Trump' demands", said Cheng Xiaohe, associate professor of worldwide relations at Renmin University in Beijing.

Yuri Kirdyushkin and Anastasia Novopashina were under investigation for drug smuggling but had not been convicted, Duterte said.

The Philippine leader has presided over a government crackdown of drug dealers and users, including extrajudicial killings and other human rights abuses. There was no mention of extralegal killings.

Earlier in the day, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised the plight of Rohingya refugees and extra-judicial killings in the Philippines at the summit, sensitive human rights issues skirted by nearly all the others.

In a trip that was dominated by the North Korean nuclear crisis, Trump was treated to pomp and pageantry in Japan and South Korea, where he repeatedly blasted the regime of Kim Jong-Un.

Obama had visited the Philippines on several trips earlier in his presidency, and even signed an enhanced defense cooperation agreement with the country in 2014. We have deficits with nearly everybody. "The massive TRADE deficits must go down quickly!"

"Except us", Turnbull chimed in, to laughs.

The Many Handshakes of President Donald Trump
The Many Handshakes of President Donald Trump

Trump also said his trip had resulted in at least US$300 billion, possibly triple that figure, of deals being agreed.

"It was red carpet like nobody, I think, has probably ever received", Trump said. "And I'm really proud of that". But his interactions with Duterte drew the most scrutiny.

Advisers have said that while Trump was always unlikely to publicly chastise the Philippine president, he may offer criticisms behind closed doors.

Since Duterte took office 16 months ago, thousands of people have been killed in his war on drugs, with rights groups accusing police and hired assassins of mass murder, charges officials deny.

"When I was a teenager, I had been in and out of jail, rumble here and there", Duterte said during a speech in Danang, where he briefly crossed paths with Trump on the sidelines of an global summit. Human rights groups believe the victim total is far higher, perhaps closer to 9,000.

"And I'll be announcing pretty much what happened here, and also with other meetings, including China and South Korea and lots of other places", Trump said during a meeting with his Australian and Japanese counterparts at a summit of Asian leaders in Manila, Philippines. Trump initially did the handshake incorrectly.

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