Washington: US President Donald Trump will make his maiden visit to Asia in November with stops in five countries—Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines, the White House announced on Friday.
During his trip from 3 to 14 November, Trump will participate in a series of bilateral, multilateral and cultural engagements. Trump will attend Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit, demonstrating his continued commitment to the alliances and partnerships of the US in the region, the White House said.
Trump will discuss the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific region to America’s prosperity and security, it said. Among other things, he will also emphasise the importance of fair and reciprocal economic ties with US’ trade partners.
“The president’s engagements will strengthen the international resolve to confront the North Korean threat and ensure the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula," the White House said in a statement.
Trump’s maiden Asia trip comes amid increased tension in the Korean Peninsula and South China Sea. After being sworn in as the US President in January, Trump has hosted several top Asian leaders at the White House or his summer home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida. He also met many of them on the sidelines of UN General Assembly in New York early this month or in Europe on the margins of G-20 and G-7 summits this summer.
While he has not described his Asia policy as “Asia Pacific Rebalance" as was the case with his predecessor Barack Obama, the Trump administration has made special effort to strengthen its relationship with Asian countries.
In June, Trump hosted Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House. He hosted the Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a- Lago residence in the early part of his presidency and met the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Trump Towers in New York as the president-elect. On 2 October, Trump will welcome Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha of Thailand to the White House.