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'Really fantastic job': Trump on Asia trip

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November 15, 2017

US President Donald Trump heads home from Manila after wrapping up a five-nation Asian tour.

US President Donald Trump has wrapped up a tour of Asia in the Philippines by boasting of his "really fantastic job" in pushing for fairer trade deals and of rekindling ties with an old ally.

"It's been a really great 12 days, and I made a lot of great friends," he told reporters on Tuesday as they flew together out of Manila, where he attended a leaders summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

"I think we have done a really fantastic job."

Trump said he made "a lot of progress" in pressing for fair and reciprocal trade deals with other countries.

Before leaving Manila, Trump tweeted that the Asia trip, which also took him to Japan, China, South Korea and Vietnam, "will lead to FAIR TRADE DEALS, unlike the horror shows from past administrations".

One of Trump's first actions as president was to pull the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was spearheaded by his predecessor Barack Obama. The deal has since been renamed and the 11 remaining countries are trying to keep the hamstrung treaty alive.

"After my tour of Asia, all countries dealing with us on TRADE know that the rules have changed," he added on Twitter.

Aside from trade, Trump said the trip was also "really good" in getting Asia-Pacific countries together for a tougher position against North Korea's nuclear weapons programme and missile tests.

In a draft statement, East Asian countries called on Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile technologies and immediately and fully comply with United Nations' resolutions.

Another important result of the trip was revitalising Washington's relationship with the Philippines, Trump said, describing the former US colony as "an unbelievably important military location".

"We had no relationship for a long period of time in the Philippines, and now we have a very good relationship there," he said.

US-Philippine relations soured after Duterte took office last year, with the Obama administration criticising his brutal war against drugs and Duterte hurling personal insults at Obama.

Hundreds of leftist activists, farmers and students protested Trump's visit to the Philippines, clashing with anti-riot police officers who blocked their daily attempts to march to the tightly-guarded venue of the summit.

Trump skipped the plenary session of the East Asia Summit, where leaders from the 10-member ASEAN are joined by counterparts from Australia, Japan, China, South Korea, New Zealand, India, Russia and the US.

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