DIPLOMACY

Trump Offers to Mediate South China Sea Dispute

President Donald Trump has offered to mediate disputes over territory in the South China Sea. The offer preceded Trump’s arrival in the Philippines for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. But Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, whose country is at odds with China over some sections of the body, said it was better that the summit not focus on the issue. “We have to be friends, the other hotheads would like us to confront China and the rest of the world on so many issues,” Duterte said. “The South China Sea is better left untouched, nobody can afford to go to war. It can ill-afford a violent confrontation.” China claims to control the entire body of water, to the objection of four southeast Asian countries and Taiwan.