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Trump offers to mediate in South China Sea dispute

Trump offers to mediate in South China Sea dispute

"We have to be friends, the other hotheads would like us to confront China and the rest of the world on so many issues", Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in the Philippines capital, Manila, on Sunday.

US President Donald Trump has offered his services as a "mediator and arbitrator" over disputed territorial claims South China Sea issue, one of the most pressing issues for many of Asia's leaders.

The US President, who expressed his great friendship with Chinese president Xi Jinping in the early stage of his Asia tour, acknowledged in Vietnam that China's position on the South China Sea, almost all of which is claimed by Beijing, was a problem.

Trump's Asian tour comes as the U.S. rallies for tougher sanctions against North Korea's nuclear program and ballistic missile tests.

"And although I would suppose it would be safe to assume that the discussion on West Philippine Sea will take place because in the remark of the US President, he also said that the interest of the United States is to maintain freedom of navigation "in crucial waterways", Roque said.

Calling President Duterte and Trump "fascists", Karapatan secretary general Tinay Palabay stressed how the U.S. supports the Duterte administration's bloody War on Drugs, giving $9 million to the program for 2017.

US President Donald Trump misspells "Philippines" ahead of his trip to the country.

Police used water canon to prevent hundreds of protesters reaching the USA embassy in Manila ahead of Trump's arrival.

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday he can envision the USA and North Korea agreeing to hold talks at some point as a precursor to formal negotiations.

"Trump is the CEO of the imperialist government of the USA, said 18-year-old student Alexis Danday after the protesters were scattered".

The increasing use of the phrase "Indo-Pacific" by Trump and his team during their Asian tour this week, instead of the more common "Asia-Pacific" term has been seen by analysts as an effort to depict the region as more than China-dominated.

Leaders at the Philippines summit will discuss the South China Sea, but mainly to agree on a procedural step to cool tensions.

In Vietnam on Thursday on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific economic summit, Duterte boasted that when he was 16 he stabbed to death someone for looking at him the wrong way.

Vietnam and the United States have grown increasingly close in recent years as both countries fear Chinese ambitions in the South China Sea.

India has been supporting freedom of navigation and access to resources in the South China Sea in accordance with principles of global law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Others who will be in Manila for the summit meetings include Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and leaders from Japan, Canada, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.