Trump's Asia Trip: 5 Countries in 12 Days
On Friday, President Trump embarked on his 12 day trip to Asia. He begins with a layover in Hawaii, followed by stops in Japan, South Korea, China, and Vietnam, before ending his tour in the Philippines.
The president’s Asia trip comes amidst escalating tensions between North Korea and the United States. As North Korea’s nuclear program continues concern the international community, Trump will be looking to discuss diplomatic options with the leaders of Japan, South Korea and China.
Discussions between President Trump and these key leaders will be imperative moving forward if safety along the Korean Peninsula is to be ensured.
Trump has repeatedly threatened military action if North Korea continues to grow its nuclear program, warning in his first speech to the United Nations in September that he may be forced to “totally destroy” the nation. The president signed an executive order expanding sanctions over North Korea following his U.N. speech.
Despite Trump’s explosive language, North Korea continues to boast its nuclear capabilities, as displayed by its recent missile launches over Japan.
But North Korea is not the only focus of Trump’s trip. The president is expected to engage in trade discussions with China’s president Xi Jinping during his trip to the country. Both on the campaign trail and in his time in office, Trump has openly said that the United States should stop outsourcing its jobs in order to create more work opportunities for individuals at home.
After his visit to China, Trump is expected to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam along with the ASEAN summit in the Philippines.
The President announced Friday morning that he will extend his trip to Asia, adding an extra day in the Philippines, to attend the East Asia Summit. The East Asia Summit brings together leaders from the region including Australia, Japan, Russia and China.
“Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had been scheduled to attend in Trump’s stead, but the White House decided at the last minute to send the president — a symbolic move aimed at building good will in the region,” Louis Nelson and Andrew Restuccia wrote in POLITICO.
This is the longest trip of Trump’s presidency, and it is “the longest trip by any U.S. president since 1991, when President George H.W. Bush traveled through Asia for 12 days,” according to POLITICO.
There is a lot on the line for President Trump during his trip to Asia. His Asia swing will set the tone of future relationships between the United States and East Asian countries.