Hanoi, November 13: US President Donald Trump today said he is prepared to mediate between claimants to the South China Sea, which include Vietnam and China. Trump, at a meeting in Hanoi with Vietnam's president, Tran Dai Quang said that if he can help mediate or arbitrate, he would do so.
“If I can help in any way, I'm a very good mediator and a very good arbitrator. I have done plenty of it from both sides. So if I can help you, let me know,” Trump added.
The US has long sought to limit China’s growing maritime influence in the sea, over most of which Beijing claims sovereignty. A US warship sailed by nearby Triton Island earlier in an operation meant to challenge China's claims on the region, according to the Defense Department.
One of the world's most valuable trade corridors, the South China Seas is a hotbed of contemporary geopolitical dispute. The South China Sea is the subject of a territorial dispute between China and Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei.
Notably, China has been expanding its territory aggressively, encouraging population settlements in the disputed areas.
Later, Trump has said that he is seeking a two-way trade with Vietnam that will benefit both the countries. After meeting with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang in Hanoi today, Trump said, for trade to work, all countries must play by the rules.
He said, he is encouraged that Vietnam has recently become the fastest growing export market to the United States. He added that they had a great discussion about American goods and services coming into Vietnam. Quang described his meeting with Trump as fruitful, saying, the president’s state visit to Vietnam marks a milestone in Vietnam-U.S. relations. The two leaders also discussed North Korea and the South China Sea.