Trump vs. Asia

Alice Antony and Alejandro Paredes

   Donald Trump had the opportunity to commence his very first presidential 12-day trip to a variety of countries in Asia such as Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. He attended individual meetings with foreign leaders and brought attention to trade and the tension between North Korea and the US during international summits. Throughout Trump’s trip in Asia, he committed several actions that triggered backlash from social media and the press which really emphasizes his profoundly low ratings from critics.

   Trump’s relationship with China is strained —  considering the fact that he called out China for taking advantage of the US when speaking about trade. However, upon his arrival in China, he was greeted with a bright red carpet and was overall appreciated in his stay at Beijing. Senior Branson Matthews expresses his understanding of the relationship amongst China and the U.S. regarding trade.

   “It’s not that good, I know that our economy compared to [China] is really touchy. It’s super different on how they handle stuff and how we handle stuff — I know that Trump wants to do a lot of remakes and redo in the states and I kind of see why. He does that because we gain more jobs and that keeps China away from making cheap stuff,” said Matthews.

   Human rights advocates suggested to Trump to put more emphasis on the topic of the deadly drug war in the Philippines at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit. Unfortunately, over 4,000 suspects of drugs in the Philippines were murdered — Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines called the death of the suspects, “collateral damage.” When Trump was asked to recognize human rights during the summit, he disregarded the war on drugs and focused on trade. Senior Travis Morgan shared his thoughts on Trump’s decision addressing an issue like trade instead of the problem at hand in the Philippines.

   “I would say he isn’t ignoring human rights at all. I mean, some specific examples I’d like to address if you have any questions about that. I mean, trade’s a big issue right now. We still have a trade deficit with China, but I think that will definitely improve. I’m sure he had his reasons for not addressing them. I wouldn’t say he is, but putting America first, that’s definitely a priority when you’re running a country. Nationalism is definitely a good thing, putting your country before others — you have to improve yourself first, and then help others,” said Morgan.