Philippines' Duterte visits Chinese warships in home town

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte addresses the media during his joint press statement with Indonesian President Joko

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte addresses the media during his joint press statement with Indonesian President Joko"Jokowi Widodo following their bilateral meeting at the Malacanang Palace in Manila Philippines Friday

The leaders of ASEAN are due to meet in again in Manilla in November of this year.

While the Philippines remained silent to invoke the arbitral ruling, Patron echoed the earlier pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte that there is the "right time" to uphold it.

The 10 leaders from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam held their 30th annual summit and retreat in Manila on Saturday, Xinhua news agency reported. From left; Malaysian Prime Minister.

Chinese officials had also pressed to remove the phrase "full respect of legal and diplomatic processes" under the "South China Sea" heading.

As expected, the statement, which Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was supposed to read on Saturday as Asean chair, also ignored an global tribunal's ruling striking down Beijing's claims to almost all of the South China Sea.

Mr Duterte, who has been warming his country's once frosty relations with China, said on Thursday it was pointless to discuss China's island-building in the South China Sea and the tribunal's ruling, calling both a "non-issue". The waters are also important fishing grounds and are believed to have undersea deposits of oil and gas.

Mr Duterte, who was elected past year, has distanced himself from the United States, his country's traditional longtime ally.

China has dismissed and ignored last July's arbitration ruling, which invalidated most of its historic claims to nearly all of the South China Sea. The group wants Beijing to sign a framework agreement for a code of conduct in the South China Sea, which would be a precursor to a long-delayed and supposedly legally binding pact governing behavior in the South China Sea to avoid conflict.

Since taking office last June, Duterte has taken a much softer stance on China and the disputes than his predecessor.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has said that diplomacy is the best and only means to resolving any regional disputes and welcomes any such initiative from other countries. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to discuss the issue with the press.

Earlier, the host country's President, Rodrigo Duterte had also expressed his concern saying that Asean was anxious over the North Korean issue.

This had "opened many doors to the Philippines".

China can execute their military exercises in Philippines.

"But I would say "Mr President, please see to it that there is no war because my region will suffer immensely".

Opposition legislator Gary Alejano, a former military officer, said that in the Asean summit, 'they (China) won by convincing Duterte not to include any statement about the (international) ruling. That has been a standard policy in previous ASEAN statements.

Aquino also filed the case at the worldwide tribunal.

The Friday draft had specifically mentioned "land reclamation and militarization that may further complicate the situation." in a clear reference to China's building of an artificial isle and installation of weapons systems, as well as runways and other facilities a little more than 200 kilometers west of Palawan that could accommodate military aircraft.

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