December 2017

President Trump Tours Asia

President Trump at welcome ceremony in JapanPresident Trump at welcome ceremony in Japan

President Trump at welcome ceremony in Japan
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attended a welcome ceremony at Akasaka State Guest House in Tokyo, Japan, with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and First Lady Akie Abe.

In November 2017, President Donald Trump went on a 12-day tour of Asia. During this trip, he visited five countries—Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines. In each of these countries, President Trump met with the country’s leader. First Lady Melania Trump accompanied the President on this tour.

Before leaving the United States, President Trump visited Hawaii for the first time since he was elected President. There, he toured the site of the USS Arizona to honor those who died in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the event that drew the United States into World War II.

In addition to meeting with leaders from the nations he visited, President Trump also attended three meetings with regional leaders. He went to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Vietnam, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) 50th Anniversary celebration in the Philippines, and the East Asia Summit (EAS) in the Philippines.

During his meetings, President Trump discussed trade with other leaders. His message about trade was that the United States would not sign any regional trade deals. He also wants all trade to be balanced. This means that he wants the number of U.S. exports to a country to be equal to the number of imports from that country. Having balanced trade arrangements with other nations is better for the U.S. economy.

In addition to meeting about trade, leaders around the world were interested to hear what President Trump had to say about security. In particular, many in the region are concerned about North Korea. North Korea is controlled by the dictator Kim Jong-un. The nation is working on developing nuclear weapons and has a history of human rights violations. President Trump and Kim Jong-un have criticized each other through social media.

During the trip, President Trump mentioned North Korea’s abuses and called for the removal of its nuclear weapons. Since the United States has no formal relationship with North Korea, it depends on other nations to pressure North Korea through trade restrictions and diplomacy. However, other countries depend on the United States to keep military strength and pressure on North Korea.

President Trump’s tour was the longest one a President has made to Asia since President George H. W. Bush visited the region in 1991. After arriving back in the United States, President Trump said his trip was a “tremendous success.”

Image credit: ©AFP/Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images
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