Trump offers to 'mediate' in sea dispute

FILE Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks on urbanisation at a high-level conference co-organised by Friends of Europe

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

U.S. president Donald Trump (L) and Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte with wife Cielito Avancena during a photo session at a dinner marking the 50th birthday of ASEAN, on the eve of the 12th East Asia Summit.

Protesters shout slogans during a protest against US President Donald Trump's visit at the Philippine International Convention Centre in Manila November 11, 2017.

Before his arrival, Trump had met with President Rodrigo Duterte on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in Danang, Vietnam. "I'm a very good mediator and arbitrator".

"If I can help mediate or arbitrate, please let me know", Trump said at a meeting with Vietnam's president, Tran Dai Quang. ASEAN meets with China and the US early in the week ahead of a joint meeting with the leaders of nations including the US, China, Japan, Australia, India and Russian Federation.

The report added that Duterte had pledged that his nation will handle "maritime issues through bilateral channels in accordance with the consensus reached by the two sides".

China claims nearly the entire South China Sea, with competing claims from Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.

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Duterte said earlier in the week that he planned to ask China to make clear its intentions in the South China Sea.

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

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

"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.

China claims sovereignty over all of South China Sea, a huge source of hydrocarbons. The country claims a huge swathe of the South China Sea.

The framework will be endorsed by China and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Monday, a diplomat from one of the regional bloc's countries said. The DOC has mostly been ignored by claimant states, particularly China, which has built seven man-made islands in disputed waters, three of them equipped with runways, surface-to-air missiles and radars.

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