Trump offers to mediate South China Sea dispute

Trump offers to mediate South China Sea dispute
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpWSJ: Trump ignored advice to confront Putin over indictments Trump hotel charging Sean Spicer ,000 as book party venue Bernie Sanders: Trump 'so tough' on child separations but not on Putin MORE on Sunday said he would “mediate or arbitrate” the South China Sea dispute, arguing he is “a very good mediator.”

“South China Sea — as you know, we're looking at — we're looking at it together. If I could help mediate or arbitrate, please let me know,” Trump said at the presidential palace in Hanoi, Vietnam, where he met with President Tran Dai Quang.

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“I know we've had a dispute for quite a while with China. If I can help in any way, I'm a very good mediator and a very good arbitrator. I have done plenty of it from both sides. So if I can help you, let me know.”

The remarks came during Trump’s stop in Vietnam on his five-nation tour of Asia. The president also attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit on that leg of the trip.

China has for years clashed over territory in the South China Sea with neighboring countries, including the Philippines and Vietnam.

Trump on Sunday traveled to the Philippines. He was welcomed by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who reportedly said the disputes should be ignored.

“We have to be friends, the other hotheads would like us to confront China and the rest of the world on so many issues,” said Duterte in Manila, as reported by Reuters.

“The South China Sea is better left untouched, nobody can afford to go to war. It can ill-afford a violent confrontation.”