Produced by Tom Griggs and Paolo Pascual. Footage from Reuters.
When Donald Trump meets Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines president, on the final leg of his tour of Asia, the mood is likely to be convivial and the two men will display a friendly meeting of minds. Both leaders share an iconoclastic, blunt style that swept them to power in their country's respective national elections in 2016. Both are of similar age. Trump is 71, and Duterte is 72. Both support hardline policies on drugs and crime, and both favour spending on infrastructure as an engine of growth. Both believe they are upholding patriotic national values under threat from a globalist elite that is out of touch with ordinary citizens' needs.
We cannot let people into our country that we don't know who they are, what they are doing, where they are. They have no paperwork. We can't do it.
The friendly relationship between the two leaders, which one critical analyst has called a populist international, will be a marked contrast with Mr Duterte's poor relations with Barack Obama, who at one point he famously called a son of a whore. Before the visit, one US official described what he said was a warm rapport between the two leaders. Mr. Trump, who has vowed to take tough action against America's opioids epidemic, is unlikely to join human rights campaigners in criticising his Filipino host for presiding over a brutal and often legally questionable war on drugs in which thousands of people have died.
Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now there is three million-- what is it? Three million drug addicts? There are.
Still, there will be some tensions below the surface. While pundits in Manila and Washington study the body language and theatrics of the visit, there are some dead serious bilateral and international issues at stake behind the scenes. Mr. Duterte, for all his affinity with Mr Trump, has since taking office sought to put his country's traditionally close relationship with the US at arm's length to balance its relations with a rising China. Manila and Beijing are in conflict over the South China Sea, where China occupied Scarborough Shoal, a reef in Philippines territorial waters, in 2012. Tensions may also flare on trade and immigration, two areas where the Philippines have traditionally counted on an open and liberal US, but where Mr Trump has promised to take a tougher line. John Reed, Financial Times.