Highlights of the trip

Mr Donald Trump clasping Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc's hand, but breaking the handshake line with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Mr Donald Trump clasping Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc's hand, but breaking the handshake line with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.PHOTO: REUTERS

1. GOLF AND PIKOTARO

• Mr Trump played golf with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and world No. 4 Hideki Matsuyama on his first day in Japan.

• He also met Japanese Internet sensation Pikotaro, known for his "pen-pineapple-apple-pen" tune that went viral last year.

2. DMZ NO-GO

Mr Trump's stay in Seoul lasted only about 24 hours, the shortest in his five-nation tour. Due to adverse weather, he had to skip a surprise trip to the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), the tense border with North Korea and a staple on any official itinerary to South Korea.

3. NO SIMPLE SHRIMPS

South Korea's serving of prawns from disputed waters at a state dinner irritated Japan. The prawns were fished near Seoul-controlled islets called Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshima in Japan, which are at the centre of a diplomatic dispute. South Korea's presidential office also invited to the dinner a woman who had been forced into sexual slavery for Japanese troops during World War II.

4. 'GRANDPA XI, GRANDMA PENG'

In a video that Mr Trump showed Chinese President Xi Jinping during their stroll through the Forbidden City, Mr Trump's granddaughter, Arabella Kushner, greets "Grandpa Xi and Grandma Peng (Liyuan)" with several Mandarin ballads and a recitation of ancient Chinese poetry.

5. 'AMERICA FIRST' AT APEC

Mr Trump gave a spirited speech on his "America First" doctrine at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Danang, Vietnam, vowing his country will no longer tolerate unfair trade, closed markets and intellectual property theft.

6. 'I'M A VERY GOOD MEDIATOR'

Mr Trump offered to mediate in the South China Sea issue. "If I can help mediate or arbitrate, please let me know... I am a very good mediator," he told Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang in Hanoi. China claims most of the South China Sea, while the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have claims that overlap China's.

The Trump report 7 United States President Donald Trump's first visit to Asia concluded on Tuesday. The 12-day visit was the longest tour by an American president this millennium. Here are some highlights of the Nov 3 to 14 tour:

7. ALL FINGERS AND THUMBS

Mr Trump was all fingers and thumbs during a photo shoot at an Asean summit. Breaking a line intended to showcase unity, Mr Trump used both his hands to clasp the extended fingers of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and did not hold on to the hand of summit host, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. He eventually completed the link between Mr Phuc and Mr Duterte.

• Compiled by Arvind Jayaram

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 16, 2017, with the headline 'highlights of the trip'. Print Edition | Subscribe