Anti-Trump protesters, police engage in brief scuffle in Manila

Bill Rogers
November 13, 2017

"I believe in our intel agencies", he said, alongside Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang.

"I'd have rumbles here, rumbles there", said Duterte on Thursday speaking with a Filipino community there.

"If I can help mediate or arbitrate, please let me know..."

He told the crowd: "I will slap her in front of you. Why?"

The demonstrators carried placards reading "Dump Trump" and "Down with U.S. Imperialism", the report said.

China is claimant to swathes of ocean, extending far outside its internationally agreed 200-mile economic exclusion zone (EEZ).

"One fight there, another here", he said this week, in Vietnam ahead of the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting.

United Nations human rights expert Agnes Callamard has been a vocal critic of the operation and called for the establishment of a "strong independent human rights institution" in the Philippines.

Trump, however, has praised Duterte's "unbelievable job on the drug problem", and told the leader he's "a good man" and should "Keep up the good work".

Near the end of Obama's tenure, Duterte said Obama was a "son of a bitch" who could "go to hell".

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"You want to control the passage, or do we have free passage?"

"We have to be friends, the other hotheads would like us to confront China and the rest of the world on so many issues", Duterte said at a pre-summit business conference in Manila.

Relations have since improved and Chinese President Xi Jinping is visiting Hanoi later on Sunday.

US Navy ships have also carried out freedom of navigation patrols in the area, angering China, which says the territorial issues should be handled directly between countries in the region. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have conflicting claims there.

Though Trump administration officials said the President would address human rights with the Philippine leader, national security adviser H.R. McMaster downplayed the importance of addressing human rights in Asia before Trump's trip. The protesters called for a stop to U.S. economic and political intervention, and for United States troops to leave the country.

Since Trump took office, priorities in the region lie elsewhere, with USA focus largely on containing the North Korean threat.

On a tour that has taken him to Japan, South Korea, China and Vietnam, Trump and his team have repeatedly used the term "Indo-Pacific" instead of "Asia-Pacific" for the region, which some see as an effort to depict it as more than China-dominated.

"(US) Foreign policy in Asia has had its oxygen sucked out the room", he said.

The framework seeks to advance a 2002 Declaration of Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea, which has mostly been ignored by claimant states, particularly China, which has built seven man-made islands in disputed waters, three of them equipped with runways, surface-to-air missiles and radars. "For China, this is their time".

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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