Trump prepared to mediate between claimants to South China Sea

Vietnam's President Tran Dai Quang and U.S. President Donald Trump address a joint news conference at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam November 12, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Vastavam web: U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday he was prepared to mediate between claimants to the South China Sea, where five countries contest China’s sweeping claims to the busy waterway.“If I can help mediate or arbitrate, please let me know,” Trump said in comments at a meeting in Hanoi with Vietnam’s president, Tran Dai Quang.Trump acknowledged that China’s position on the South China Sea was a problem.President Quang said Vietnam believed in handling disputes on the South China Sea through peaceful negotiations and on the basis of international laws – which Vietnam says nullify China’s claims.
Relations have since improved and Chinese President Xi Jinping is visiting Hanoi later on Sunday.The South China Sea was discussed in Beijing on an earlier leg of Trump’s 12-day Asian tour and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States and China had a frank exchange of views.The United States has angered China with freedom of navigation patrols close to Chinese-controlled islands.