ASIA

Updated at 12:06 p.m. ET

President Trump said goodbye to Asia on Tuesday after visiting five countries, attending three international summits and meeting with more than half-a-dozen foreign leaders.

"I think we made a lot of progress just in terms of relationship," Trump told reporters as Air Force One left Manila. "We actually sold $300 billion worth of equipment and other things and I think that number is going to be quadrupled very quickly."

President Trump, in Manila on the last leg of his tour of five Asian nations, only briefly touched on the question of human rights with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has waged a deadly extra-judicial war on drugs that has left thousands dead.

President Trump — in the harshest language on trade so far on his five-nation tour of Asia — told a regional summit in Vietnam that his administration "will not tolerate" continued trade abuses and that countries must "follow the rules" if they want to do business with the U.S.

President Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping say they have agreed to work together on the denuclearization of North Korea and closer cooperation on trade.

In a joint statement delivered at Beijing's Great Hall of the People with Xi, Trump praised the Chinese president as "a very special man," and earlier, he said the two enjoyed "great chemistry." The Chinese leader emphasized that while the two economic and military giants would occasionally have differences, there were opportunities to be "mutually reinforcing."

After stops in Japan and South Korea, President Trump arrived in China on Wednesday, the third of his five stops in Asia this week. He had tea and dinner, and took in some opera, with China's leader Xi Jinping. On Thursday, they will hold bilateral talks. On the table will be the trade imbalance between the countries that Trump hopes to rectify and ongoing provocations from China's intransigent neighbor, North Korea.

Even as the world — especially Asian nations — looks on, no one is watching this leg of Trump's swing through Asia with more trepidation than Taiwan.

President Trump on Monday pledged to stand by Japan against the "menace" of North Korea and said he hoped the two nations could come to a "free, fair and reciprocal" trade relationship.

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy is warning President Donald Trump to remember that he needs congressional approval to launch any unilateral military action against North Korea. 

Debating Gender and Body in the Epic Mahabharata

May 2, 2017
Lancaster University

Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad is professor of comparative religion and philosophy at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom.

In this talk, Ram-Prasad examines an excerpt from the Mahabharata, a Sanskrit epic poem. In the poem, a female who has renounced the world in order to attain spiritual enlightenment challenges a king, who argues that real spiritual enlightenment is achieved only while still engaged in the normal duties of life.