MANILA – Among 37 Asian countries, the Philippines has the most confidence in US President Donald Trump when it comes to international affairs, an American think tank report released on Friday said.
A study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 69% of Filipinos surveyed said they are confident Trump will do the right thing when it comes to international affairs.
Vietnam also showed a high degree of confidence with 58%, while Japan (24%) and South Korea (17%) expressed low confidence in Trump.
The Philippines, Vietnam and Japan, also have more confidence in Trump than in Chinese President Xi Jinping.
However, 72% of Filipinos oppose most of Trump’s policies, such as withdrawing the US from major international trade pacts and climate change agreements. Other countries that disagree with Trump in this regard are South Korea (80%), Japan (66%) and Vietnam (61%).
Meanwhile, the Philippines is one of the countries, along with South Korea and Japan, where 85% or more of its citizens "are concerned about North Korea's nuclear program."
But while Japan and South Korea prefer increasing economic sanctions, those in Vietnam (43%) and the Philippines (45%) are inclined toward deepening relations with North Korea.
The study added that Filipinos are "more likely to say that relations with the US will stay the same or improve now that Trump is president."
Unlike his predecessor, Barack Obama, Trump so far has not publicly criticized President Rodrigo Duterte's campaign against illegal drugs.
In July, the US Congress conducted an inquiry into the alleged extrajudicial killings under the Philippine government's drug war, where two lawmakers opposed Trump's invitation to Duterte to visit the White House.
Trump will be in Manila from November 12 to 14 to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and the East Asia Summit.