President Trump on Sunday said he would “Mediate or arbitrate” the South China Sea dispute, arguing he is “a very good mediator.”
“South China Sea – as you know, we’re looking at – we’re looking at it together. If I could help mediate or arbitrate, please let me know,” Trump said at the presidential palace in Hanoi, Vietnam, where he met with President Tran Dai Quang.
“I know we’ve had a dispute for quite a while with China. 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.”
The remarks came during Trump’s stop in Vietnam on his 5-nation tour of Asia. The president also attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit on that leg of the trip.
China has for years clashed over territory in the South China Sea with neighboring countries, including the Philippines and Vietnam.
Trump on Sunday traveled to the Philippines.
“The South China Sea is better left untouched, nobody can afford to go to war. It can ill-afford a violent confrontation.”