Asean hand­shake baf­fles trump

Sun.Star Davao - - FRONT PAGE -

MANILA -- Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump is known for his long, at times ag­gres­sive, hand­shakes with world lead­ers. But at an in­ter­na­tional sum­mit in the Philip­pines on Mon­day, he strug­gled briefly with a dif­fer­ent kind of hand­shake.

Trump, in Manila, at­tended the open­ing cer- emonies of the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions con­fer­ence, which be­gan with pageantry and a group photo of the lead­ers. Then,

the an­nouncer in­toned that it was time for the lead­ers to take part in the "tra­di­tional" Asean hand­shake. It's a cross-body ex­er­cise, dur­ing which each leader ex­tends their right arm over their left and shakes the op­po­site hands of those next to him.

The an­nouncer's in­struc­tions briefly baf­fled Trump, who at first sim­ply crossed his hands in front of him.

Then, look­ing around, he turned to the lead­ers and sim­ply ex­tended his arms out­ward, only to find that wasn't quite right ei­ther.

Then he laughed, crossed his arms and reached to the cor­rect sides. He gri­maced at first, par­tic­u­larly when bend­ing down to reach the hands of the shorter lead­ers next to him, in­clud­ing Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte.

And then, with an ex­ag­ger­ated smile, he vig­or­ously gripped the lead­ers' hands.

Hand­shakes have be­come a Trump trade­mark in his first year in of­fice. He of­ten pulls the other per­son to­ward him and pats or yanks in a sign meant to set a tone for the meet­ing ahead.

He pulled Ja­pan Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe's hand to­ward him and then held onto it for a long time, prompt­ing an eye roll from Abe as Trump looked away. Trump and French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron en­gaged in a white-knuckle hand­shake. And Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau, mean­while, short-cir­cuited Trump's at­tempt at dom­i­nance, us­ing his left arm to hold onto to Trump to pre­vent be­ing pulled to­ward him. AP

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