Trump to visit Philippines, Vietnam

Trump to visit Philippines, Vietnam
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President Trump will head to the Philippines and Vietnam in November to attend a trio of international summit meetings, Vice President Pence told reporters Thursday.

Speaking in Jakarta, Indonesia, at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) headquarters, Pence said Trump will attend the U.S.-ASEAN summit and the East Asia Summit in the Philippines, as well as the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam.

Pence said Trump hopes to work with ASEAN on security issues, trade and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

China claims most of the South China Sea, which has sparked territorial conflicts with several Southeast Asian nations.

The Philippines’ ambassador to the U.S. on Wednesday first said Trump was heading to his nation.

“[Trump] already said he was coming in November,” Marciano Paynor said in Manila. “At least verbally he said he was coming.”

Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte, whose blunt rhetoric has sometimes earned comparisons with Trump, said Wednesday that the president is “a realist and pragmatic thinker.”

“Trump is profound even if he does not seem to be one,” he said. “Just like me, I am not that bright, but I am very deliberate.”