As part of Liberty Nation’s deep dive analysis of President Donald Trump’s tour of Asia, we’ll be examining what events take place, the significance of them, and most importantly, how the media are spinning it.
With the continuation of the ASEAN summit, President Trump continues to court business deals and make plans with Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte.
In what seems like blossoming relationship, the president said, “Rodrigo, I would like to commend you on your success as ASEAN chair. At this very critical moment in time and in the association’s history, such an important event; and I wanna thank you for your incredible hospitality.”
If you want to know how the tour is going, check out yesterday’s column here on LN.
In what seems like blossoming relationship, the two leaders took time to discuss, among other things, the issue of human rights and how they are applied by Duterte’s government. This has been on the wish list of leftist commentators for some time. Yet it is difficult to believe that it is their concern for people that is motivating them rather than their wish to put the president in an uncomfortable position.
President Trump’s address to the summit will thrill supporters back home. He talked of economies and nation-state sovereignty, winning over many of the attendees. He stressed how important it is for Washington to “seek economic partnerships on the basis of fairness and reciprocity.”
“The United States remains committed to ASEAN’s central role as a regional forum for total cooperation,” Trump said. “This diplomatic partnership advances the security and prosperity of the American people and the people of all Indo-Pacific nations.”
Particular statements were made to subtly attack the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) deal being made at the summit by a quorum of countries. President Trump stated, “We want our partners in the region to be strong, independent and prosperous, in control of their own destinies and satellites to no one. These are the principles for our vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
After yesterday’s stellar performance, it expected that both Duterte and Trump will be discussing mutual cooperation in a number of areas. Trade and security will be high on the list of topics, with close attention paid to ensuring jobs are kept in the U.S.
What was not expected was that the president would actually bite the bullet and discuss Duterte’s record on human rights. When pushed by reporters on whether this was on the table, Duterte joked “We will be discussing matters that are of interest to both the Philippines and (the US) … with you around, guys, you are the spies.”
For this entire tour, President Trump has failed to put a foot wrong. With this in mind, the leftist media are desperate for any negative statements from the Twittersphere and replaying old footage to downplay the present state of relations with world leaders (most specifically Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull).
The media have dragged out Senator John McCain yet again to be the “critic in chief” of the whole affair. This time the Arizona Senator has called out the president for not discussing human rights, implying that Trump is too weak to tackle these issues head-on. Yet, statements from both Duterte and Trump suggest that they actually did.
Behind the Curtain
There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the two leaders discussed criticisms of human rights abuses. This will be high on the agenda for Trump to show that he can go where other leaders fear to tread.
It is likely that the men will have discussions on how to make closer ties between the two nations. Since Philippine independence at the end of the Second World War, there have been calls for better relations in terms of work visa arrangements and foreign investment.
The biggest secret will be that talks are taking place regarding Myanmar and the plight of the Rohingya people who are not even entitled to be classed as citizens of the nation. Rex Tillerson will be visiting the country soon, and the president is likely to have laid the groundwork in advance.
Check back in with Liberty Nation tomorrow to get more on this historic Grand Tour.