World

Trump offers to 'mediate' in sea dispute

Trump offers to 'mediate' in sea dispute

Vietnam's state television said the Chinese president had told the Vietnamese leader that he wanted to work with Southeast Asian nations on a code of conduct in the sea.

"It's our policy to settle disputes in the East Sea through peaceful negotiations and with respect for diplomatic and legal process in accordance with worldwide law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea", he said, referring to the South China Sea.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang takes a bow after the annual Asean-China summit, held Monday in Manila.

China claims almost all of the sea, even approaching the coasts of its neighbours.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has met with the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte in Da nang on strengthening bilateral ties on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders' Meeting.

AMID the simmering dispute over the South China Sea, China on Monday, November 13, pledged to be a "good neighbor and friend" to the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

"Li said China is the largest country in the South China Sea and a major nation that uses the lanes in the sea, thus China shows more interest in safeguarding peace, stability, and navigation freedom in the South China Sea than any other country in the world", Xinhua said.

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"Of course, the claimant countries have to answer as a group or individually, and not one country can just give an instant reply because mediation involves all of the claimants and non-claimants", he pointed out.

Since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has grown closer to China, Vietnam has emerged as China's main challenger in the area.

"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.

In 2013, the Philippines filed an global arbitration case against China, and scored victory three years later.

According to the worldwide tribunal in The Hague, China's historical claims have no legal basis, and some of the features it is claiming fall within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Duterte took steps to thaw frosty relations with China after he won the presidency a year ago. "So if I can help you, let me know". "They will not talk about it", Duterte said of China.

Lorenzana said the rift over the tiny sandbar near the Philippine-occupied Thitu island in the Spratlys archipelago remains unresolved but both sides pledged not to occupy any new territory. He has refused to immediately take up with China a ruling by a United Nations -linked tribunal that invalidated Beijing's sprawling claims in the South China Sea, sparking criticism from nationalists and left-wing groups that wanted him to demand Chinese compliance with the landmark decision immediately.


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