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Protesters tag Trump, Duterte as 'fascists'

13 November 2017

A series of protests against Trump took place this week prior to the USA president's arrival today to meet Southeast Asian leaders and attend the Asean Summit in the final leg of his five-country Asia trip.

"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 ceremony on the eve of a summit of East and Southeast Asian nations in the Philippine capital.

Since coming to office 16 months ago, the firebrand leader has been conciliatory to Beijing, despite a ruling by an global arbitration court favoring the Philippines in its territorial dispute with China.

Philippines President Duterte recommended avoiding confrontation and leaving the situation in the disputed South China Sea "untouched".

Leaders in the Philippines are eager for Trump's visit, viewing the President's arrival as a welcome change in American leadership given former President Barack Obama's relationship with Duterte was markedly frayed.

On Monday, the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits will be officiated by Duterte at the Cultural Centre of the Philippines before the leaders gather at the Philippine International Convention Centre for a series of meetings, including the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-US Dialogue Relations.

Carrying placards declaring "Dump Trump" and "Down with U.S. Imperialism", the left-wing protesters were blocked by police in riot gear with shields and batons, and then showered with jets of water from a fire engine.

Trump had told reporters on Air Force One Saturday that he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin "means it" when he says he didn't meddle in the election.

"Trump is the CEO of the imperialist government of the USA, said 18-year-old student Alexis Danday after the protesters were scattered".

With China's provocative actions in the South China Sea, Roque said the issue is expected to be discussed by the two leaders.

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.

China claims sovereignty over all of South China Sea, a huge source of hydrocarbons.

In a speech in Vietnam, Trump said he could no longer tolerate chronic trade abuses and would insist on fair and equal policies.

The two leaders met on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the Vietnamese resort city of Danang. The dispute centers around the Spratly and Paracel Islands.