Tags: Donald Trump | North Korea | Russia | asia trip | donald trump | proud | confident

Trump: Asia Trip Showed 'Strong, Proud, Confident America' to World

Trump: Asia Trip Showed 'Strong, Proud, Confident America' to World

By    |   Wednesday, 15 November 2017 04:26 PM

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that his 12-day trip to Asia showcased "a strong, proud and confident America" to the world.

"Everywhere we went, our foreign hosts greeted the American delegation and myself included with incredible warmth and hospitality and most importantly respect," Trump told reporters at the White House in his first public comments after arriving back in the U.S. late Tuesday.

"This great respect showed very well that our country is further evidence that America's renewed confidence and standing in the world have never been stronger than it is right now.

"When we are confident in ourselves, our strengths and flags and history, other nations are confident in us," the president said.

"When we treat our citizens with the respect they deserve, our countries treat America with the respect that our country richly deserves."

Trump returned to the United States Tuesday after skipping the last day of the East Asia Summit in the Philippines after it was delayed for two hours.

His flight aboard Air Force One left more than 30 minutes earlier than planned — and Trump also missed a group photo with more than a dozen world leaders.

His Asia tour also took Trump to Japan, South Korea, China and Vietnam, where he met with Russia President Vladimir Putin — and in Seoul, Trump warned North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un: "Do not underestimate us and do not try us."

In China, Trump intervened with President Xi Jinping to release three UCLA basketball players who had been detained on suspicion of shoplifting sunglasses in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou.

The athletes thanked Trump for aiding in their release at a news conference Wednesday at UCLA. They also returned to the U.S. Tuesday.

The president had tweeted earlier Wednesday that the basketball players each had faced 10 years in prison.

In his statement in the White House Diplomatic Room, Trump said that his Asia trip had three objectives: to unite world leaders to stand against the nuclear threat posed by North Korea, to increase trade relations with countries in the region and to "insist on fair and reciprocal trade."

"These two words, of fairness and reciprocity, are a firm warning to any country that breaks the rules and engages in economic aggression like they have been doing in the past."

Noting that the U.S. has a foreign trade deficit of nearly $800 million, Trump said that was "unacceptable."

"We are going to start whittling it down as fast as possible.

"In Asia, our message was clear and well received," the president continued. "America is here to compete and do business and defend our values and our security."

He then outlined the successes of each stop, including speaking "the truth about the evil crimes of the North Korea's regime" in South Korea and enlisting other nations, including China and Russia, "to unite and isolate Pyongyang.

"We have to denuclearize North Korea," he said. "We have ended the failed strategy of strategic patience."

President Trump also said that he would re-negotiate the "disastrous" U.S.-Korea trade pact, announced deals with Seoul that would bring billions of dollars of investment into the country and had "very candid" conversations with China's President Xi about North Koreaand  about reducing Beijing's trade deficit with the U.S.

"We will not accept a freeze agreement" on North Korea's nuclear weapons program," Trump said. "We made it clear that time is running out — and we made it clear.

"And, all options remained on the table."

On trade, the president said: "The days of the United States being taken advantage of are over.

"We will never again turn a blind eye to trading abuses, to cheating, economic aggression or anything else from countries that profess a belief in open trade but do not follow the rules or live by its principles themselves.

"Over the last two weeks," Trump later said, "we have made historic strides in reasserting American leadership, restoring American security and reawakening American confidence.

"My fellow citizens," the president concluded, "America is back — and the future has never looked brighter."

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President Donald Trump said Wednesday that his 12-day trip to Asia showcased "a strong, proud and confident America" to the world."
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Wednesday, 15 November 2017 04:26 PM
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