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emfizz.com November 21, 2017


He wrote the book: Trump offers to solve South China Sea dispute

15 November 2017, 12:52 | Terri Saunders

Vietnam rolls out red carpet for Xi Jinping as Hanoi and Beijing try to patch up South China Sea row

Trump offers to mediate in protracted South China Sea feud

The framework seeks to advance a 2002 Declaration of Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea, which has mostly been ignored by claimant states, particularly China, which has built seven man-made islands in disputed waters, three of them equipped with runways, surface-to-air missiles and radars.

Mr Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping spoke separately about the territorial rifts before an annual summit of South-east Asian nations that also includes the US, China and other global players.

Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have claims in the sea, and the dispute has always been seen as a potential trigger for conflict in Asia.

Li made no mention of the South China Sea dispute, but said China was "committed to working with ASEAN to be good neighbors, good friends, and good partners and always stand together with ASEAN, rain or shine".

"We don't require; we don't even ask; we don't request other Asean countries to have a position with regards to the sovereignty claims of the claimants", Minh said.

Duterte, however, said the Chinese leader would not back down on Beijing's territorial claim and justified his decision not to immediately demand Chinese compliance with a ruling by a United Nations -linked tribunal that invalidated China's sweeping claims in the South China Sea on historical grounds.

There have been two armed conflicts between China and Vietnam in the sea - brief clashes in 1974 and 1988 that claimed the lives of dozens of Vienamese troops.

President Duterte had, on Sunday, said the territorial dispute was "better left untouched", in his speech at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit.

"If you go to the negotiating table and you start with the statement that I am here to claim validity of our ownership, you're wasting your time".

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The statement will be issued after a meeting later between China and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the Philippines capital, a diplomatic source said.

"It is a very kind, generous offer because he is a good mediator".

Donald Trump arrives in Vietnam.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang attends the ASEAN-China Summit in Manila, Philippines, Nov. 13, 2017.

The foreign ministers of Asean member states and China adopted a framework for the code of conduct on maritime disputes in August, though it remains to be seen whether the final product would be legally binding.

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

Vietnam has become the most vocal opponent of China's moves after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte softened his country's stance on China.

He instead chose to build closer ties in return for billions of dollars in investments and aid.



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