US President Donald Trump was caught up in one of his most awkward moments of his presidency so far
during a “family” photo op at the start of yesterday’s ASEAN summit.
Trump was obviously left confused by a communal handshake that took place between several of
the world’s most powerful leaders during the opening ceremony of the 31st Association of South East
Trump looked slightly ill at ease at first but then appeared to enjoy himself during the
unusual handshake with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev,
Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha, President
Rodrigo Duterte, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Yesterday’s opening ceremony began with pageantry before the summit’s traditional handshake.
The cross-body shake, during which each leader shakes the hands of those next to him, briefly
baffled Trump, who then laughed as he figured out where to place his arms.
One of the leaders on his flank was President Duterte.
Trump later held formal talks with Duterte.
Trump also met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, which plays a key role in the U.S.
vision of an Indo-Pacific region that attempts to de-emphasise China’s influence.
It was learned that Trump will meet with Prime Minister Turnbull, with whom he had a
contentious phone call in January.