Philippine protesters burn Swastika-shaped effigy of Donald Trump

Cheryl Sanders
November 14, 2017

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said human rights came up "briefly" in the context of the Philippines' fight against illegal drugs.

Some countries in the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), particularly Muslim-majority Malaysia, have voiced strong concern over the issue recently.

President Trump said goodbye to Asia Tuesday, after visiting five countries, attending three global summits and meeting with more than half-a-dozen foreign leaders.

Canada's President Justin Trudeau is still in the Philippines pushing human rights.

"The president was receptive to my comments and it was throughout a very cordial and positive exchange", Trudeau told a news conference.

"I'm a very good mediator and arbitrator", Trump said, offering to help resolve the dispute at a news conference with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang in Hanoi.

Asked by reporters whether he had raised the topic of human rights with Duterte, Trump did not answer: "Whoa, whoa", Duterte said.

In China, where President Xi Jinping rolled out the red carpet for a "state visit plus" - a welcome Trump declared "people really have never seen anything like" - the White House trumpeted more than $250 billion of trade deals.

India and the Philippines on Monday inked four pacts providing for cooperation in a number of areas, including the defence and security, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held wide-ranging talks with President Rodrigo Duterte, covering an entire gamut of bilateral relationship.

"We've made some very big steps with regard to trade - far bigger than anything you know", Trump at the beginning of the meeting in Manila, touting business deals forged between USA and foreign companies.

"Lay off, that is my business".

The maverick Duterte earlier incited diplomatic alarm after he announced Manila's "separation" from its century-old alliance with Washington after former US President Barack Obama criticized Manila's bloody drug war. And they argue Trump will be able to capitalize the relationships in the future, parlaying his warm ties with Asian leaders into major concessions on trade, military sales, and foreign policy. In a telephone conversation last April, Trump had told his Philippine counterpart he was doing an "unbelievable job on the drug problem".

Advisers had said that while Trump was always unlikely to publicly chastise Duterte, he might offer criticisms behind closed doors.

While he locked horns with Vladimir Putin at the Asia-Pacific summit over Russia's alleged interference in last year's US Election that saw Trump voted in.

Handshakes must be awkward, full stop, if you have tiny baby hands - but even so, Donald Trump looks in agony in this group handshake shot.

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