United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday called the Philippines “a strategic location” and a “prime piece of real estate” as he wrapped up his tour of Asia that was dominated by talks on the threat posed by North Korea.
In his speech before the East Asia Summit dialogue in Manila, Trump said the US’ relationship with the Philippines was important on a military standpoint.
“And now we have a very, very strong relationship with the Philippines, which is really important less so for trade in this case and for military purposes. It is a strategic location, the most strategic location,” Trump said in his speech.
“And if you look at it, it’s called the most prime piece of real estate from the military standpoint,” he added.
The US President then took a jab at former President Barack Obama’s administration, which did not get along well with President Rodrigo Duterte.
“We were having a lot of problems with the Philippines. The relationship with the past administration was horrible,” Trump said.
“So it’s very important that we get along with the Philippines and we really do. We have a good, very good relationship. I would actually say, probably, better than ever before,” he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte told Obama “go to hell” after the former US president criticized the Philippines’ bloody war on drugs.
Trump and Duterte held their first bilateral meeting on Monday in Manila and discuss illegal drugs, free trade, and aid for the rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi City.
In the same speech on Tuesday, Trump boasted that his Asian trip had resulted in at least $300 billion in deal agreements.
“We’ve had a tremendously successful trip. Tremendous amount of work on trade not only in the deals. And we have at least 300 billion dollars worth of deals but that will be I think way triple that number in a fairly short period of time,” he said.
“I think, the fruits of our labor are going to be incredible. Whether it’s security of our nations, whether it’s security of the world, or whether it’s trade. And it’s gonna—it really amounts to a lot,” Trump said.