President Trump spent Wednesday morning tweeting about "our successful trip to Asia," although many regional experts were not so quick to share his characterization. "The principal takeaway from Trump's big Asia trip: virtually zero progress on any issue that matters to the Americans," wrote the president of the Eurasia Group consultancy, Ian Bremmer. "Ultimately, that's the biggest win for China."
Trump is expected to further highlight his accomplishments this week in a speech, although Politico points out that ultimately no new measures were forged regarding North Korea and almost a dozen Asian countries collectively pressed forward on the Trans-Pacific Partnership without the U.S. And although Trump announced billions in new business deals, "most of those agreements were older, already agreed-upon, or only promises," The Associated Press writes.
Additionally, Trump broke with his predecessors by avoiding confrontation with leaders on human rights records. "Trump's critics fear the president has been blinded by the constant flattery," Politico writes. "And they are aghast that the president didn't strike a stronger tone with China."
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) added that Trump "seemed far more interested in pomp and circumstance — red carpets, fancy meals, and the flattery of foreign leaders — than advancing American interests in a region that is increasingly looking to China for leadership."