United States offers to mediate in S. China Sea row

Dr Subhash Chandra

U.S. President Donald Trump arrives for a special gala celebration dinner for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Manila.

They agreed to "well manage disputes at sea, make no moves that may complicate or expand disputes, (and) maintain peace and stability on the East Sea", the Vietnamese version of the statement said, using Hanoi's term for the waters.

"The Philippines will issue a Chairman's Statement for the ASEAN-China Summit to reflect this fact", Bolivar added.

Asean members Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, as well as China and Taiwan, have overlapping claims in the South China Sea, an global sea lane believed to be rich not only in marine resources but also oil and natural gas.

"I know we've had a dispute for quite a while with China".

When he raised concerns over China's increasing military capability in the South China Sea, Mr Duterte said Mr Xi replied, "No, it's nothing".

ASEAN leaders said the positive response shows that the South China Sea situation is stabilizing and there is a consensus between China and ASEAN to safeguard regional peace and stability. It is also partly claimed by the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan in addition to Vietnam.

Trump was speaking in Vietnam, which has become the most vocal opponent of China's claims and its construction and militarisation of artificial islands in the sea.

On Sunday US President Donald Trump offered to help Vietnam resolve the long-simmering tensions.

"The visit marks a new step forward in Vietnam-China relations", he said.

Leaders of the ASEAN also will sign an accord aiming to protect migrant workers from the poverty-wracked region during a two-day summit that opened Monday in Manila, according to a draft of a post-summit communique seen by The Associated Press. I have done plenty of it from both sides.

We'll update this page with any new developments.

"If that did happen, it would be a good thing, I can tell you, for North Korea".

Following Manila's complaint to a United Nations-backed tribunal, the panel ruled previous year that China's territorial claims in the sea were without legal basis.

Washington is not among the claimants to the waterway, among the busiest in the world, but it has declared it has a national interest in ensuring freedom of navigation and overflight and the peaceful resolution of the disputes.

"He is the master of the art of the deal but, of course, the claimant countries have to answer as a group or individually. mediation involves all the claimants and non-claimants", Philippine foreign secretary Alan Peter Cayetano told reporters.

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