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Donald Trump offers to mediate in protracted South China Sea feud

Donald Trump offers to mediate in protracted South China Sea feud

For one, China has steadfastly opposed what it calls U.S. meddling in the disputes and has balked at the U.S. Navy's incursions into what Beijing considers its territorial waters in the South China Sea.

The US President, who expressed his great friendship with Chinese president Xi Jinping in the early stage of his Asia tour, acknowledged in Vietnam that China's position on the South China Sea, almost all of which is claimed by Beijing, was a problem.

The Philippines had been the most vigorous critic of Chinese territorial claims, but Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has recently dialed back his country's objections, leaving Vietnam as the leading critic.

The Communist leaders of China and Vietnam reached a "consensus" on handling the contested South China Sea, Chinese state media reported Sunday, hours after US President Donald Trump offered to mediate in the dispute.

The President informed his host of the outcomes of his talks with President Tran Dai Quang, saying that the Vietnam's trade surplus shows that Vietnam has manifested effectiveness in bilateral cooperation in recent years.

Trump is in Hanoi for a brisk visit that could touch on boosting military support for America's former wartime foe. "I know you'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".

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"We should know what is the conduct that they would like to be", said Duterte.

Ahead of his trip to Vietnam, Duterte said he would ask his Chinese counterpart what Beijing's intentions in the region are. I have done plenty of it from both sides.

In addition to claiming the vast majority of the 1.4 million square miles (3.5 million square kilometers) of sea - China has built-up small islands in the sea and outfitted them with missile systems, much to the chagrin of its Asian neighbors and the United States.

Since Trump took office, priorities in the region lie elsewhere, with USA focus largely on containing the North Korean threat.

He expressed his belief in the further development of the Vietnam-US relations in the future for the benefits of the two countries' people, the region and the world. "The South China Sea, Taiwan, the East China Sea". China is claiming virtually the entire sea.

Since coming to office 16 months ago, the firebrand leader has been conciliatory to Beijing, despite a ruling by an global arbitration court favoring the Philippines in its territorial dispute with China.

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