U.S. President Donald Trump and Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang underscored the importance of free and open access to South China Sea, in a joint statement issued on Sunday.
The two leaders called for the “full and effective implementation” of the declaration on the conduct of parties in the South China Sea, and for all claimants to clarify their maritime claims.
Trump and Vietnam’s Quang said parties should halt escalatory action and militarisation of disputed features.
In the meantme, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said on Sunday the South China Sea dispute, involving China and five other claimants including the Philippines, was “better left untouched”.
“The South China Sea is better left untouched, nobody can afford to go to war.” China claims almost the entire South China Sea, with competing claims from Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.