Trump in Vietnam offers to ‘mediate’ on South China Sea dispute

President Donald Trump speaks, with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang during a news conference at the Presidential Palace, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Hanoi, Vietnam. (AP)
Updated 12 November 2017

Trump in Vietnam offers to ‘mediate’ on South China Sea dispute

HANOI: US President Donald Trump told his Vietnamese counterpart Sunday he is ready to help resolve the dispute in the resource-rich South China Sea which Beijing claims most of.
“If I can help mediate or arbitrate, please let me know... I am a very good mediator,” the dealmaking American leader told Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang during an official state visit Sunday.
Vietnam has long courted support from Washington in its dispute with China over the precious waterway, where Beijing has built military installations and artificial islands.
Beijing’s sweeping claims also overlap with those of the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.
Trump’s comments come ahead of a state visit on Sunday afternoon by Chinese President Xi Jinping who will meet with top communist leaders.
Tensions over the sea spiked earlier this year when Vietnam suspended an oil exploration project in an area of the waterway also claimed by Beijing, reportedly over pressure from its powerhouse communist neighbor.
In 2014, China moved an oil rig into waters off Vietnam’s shore, sparking violent protests in several Vietnamese cities.
Trump is in Hanoi for a brisk visit that could touch on boosting military support for America’s former wartime foe.
Talks will also focus on promoting trade between the cosy allies, though Vietnam’s gaping trade deficit worth $32 million could be a sticking point.
Trump heads to Manila later Sunday for the final stop on his marathon Asia tour that has mainly focused on building regional consensus against North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and espousing his ‘America First’ vision of global trade.


LIVE: Davos 2020 Day One - Thunberg slams elites, Trump hails US economic rebound

Updated 50 min 18 sec ago

LIVE: Davos 2020 Day One - Thunberg slams elites, Trump hails US economic rebound

  • Discussion panels featuring a number of high profile figures from the political, business and civil world.
  • Environment and climate issues on agenda, but Iran and Lebanon expected to feature heavily

The World Economic Forum 2020 started on Tuesday in Davos in Switzerland. Greta Thunberg kicked off the three day forum in a panel discussion on Sustainable Path towards a Common Future.

There will be discussion panels featuring a number of high profile figures from the political, business and civil world.

They will discuss a wide range of subjects including the environment and climate issues, but Iran and Lebanon are expected to feature heavily.

Follow Arab News’ coverage below

13:45 - Bollywood superstar and mental health ambassador Deepika Padukone has a very honest and inspiring conversation with World Health Organization's director-general about her own experiences with mental illness and how the stigma surrounding it can be ended...

In 2017, Padukone spoke vividly about her struggle with depression and the stigma that surrounded it. She also described how she decided to speak out, so others wouldn't have to suffer in the same way she did. Watch the Crystal Awardee speaking earlier at Davos:

13:00 - Saudi Arabia's Minister for Communications and IT Abdullah Al-Swaha has been speaking on a panel about the strategic outlook for Middle East economies. He makes the salient point that if countries want their economies to grow, they must focus on youth, technology and the empowerment of women...

11:30 - US President Donald Trump reverted to his role as salesman Tuesday, telling a gathering of the world's top businessmen in the Swiss Alps that he's led a “spectacular” turnaround of the US economy and encouraged them to invest in America.

He reminded the audience that when he spoke here two years ago, early in his presidency, “I told you that we had launched the great American comeback."

“Today I’m proud to declare the United States is in the midst of an economic boom, the likes of which the world has never seen before,” the president said.

Read more of the US President's address at Davos here: Trump lauds US economy in Davos, says little on climate woes

11:00 - Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson delivered a special message from Pope Francis. He called on everyone to remember that we are all members of one human family, and that we have a moral obligation to care for one another.

And he asked for a renewed ethical approach in the forthcoming discussions, including in the discipline of economics.

10:30 - The historian Yuval Noah Harari struck a pessimistic note at the opening of this session on the technology arms race. 

"On the most shallow level it could be a repeat of the 19thcentury industrial revolution, when the leaders had the chance to dominate the world economically and politically... I understand the current arms race as an imperial arms race... You don't need to send the soldiers in if you have all the data on a country," says Harari.

10:00 - In one of the first sessions of the WEF, Greta Thunberg said the voices of science and youth need to be at the center of the conversations on environment and future during “Forging a Sustainable Path towards a Common Future” panel discussion. 

Read more on her speech hereThunberg condemns climate inaction as Trump joins Davos