Duterte welcomes Trump to Philippines

We'll Buy Arms From Russia, Philippines' Rodrigo Duterte Tells Vladimir Putin

United States President Donald Trump made it clear to President Duterte that he is seeing him in Manila today for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and East Asia summits.

"China will continue to work with ASEAN countries to safeguard peace, stability and prosperity of the South China Sea region", China's official Xinhua news agency cited Xi as saying to Duterte.

The resource-rich disputed waters of the South China Sea have always been a bone of contention between the regional players - China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei.

It will be the last leg of a marathon Asia tour that, despite Trump's "America First" policy, may reassure some that his administration remains committed to a region that Beijing sees as its strategic domain.

On Monday, the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits will be officiated by Duterte at the Cultural Centre of the Philippines before the leaders gather at the Philippine International Convention Centre for a series of meetings, including the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-US Dialogue Relations.

Philippines President Duterte recommended avoiding confrontation and leaving the situation in the disputed South China Sea "untouched".

Police used water canon to prevent hundreds of protesters reaching the USA embassy in Manila ahead of Trump's arrival.

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In a joint news conference, Quang said he had "shared my thoughts with (Trump) on the recent developments in this area and it is our policy to settle disputes in the South China Sea through peaceful negotiations, and with respect for diplomatic and legal process in accordance with worldwide law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea".

"I used to do it personally just to show to the guys that if I can do it, so can you". The South China Sea will likely be a hot topic throughout the summit, as most claimants will be attending.

In a speech in Vietnam, Trump said he could no longer tolerate chronic trade abuses and would insist on fair and equal policies.

In August, foreign ministers of Southeast Asia and China adopted a negotiating framework for a code of conduct in the resource-rich waterway, a move they hailed as progress but one seen by critics as a tactic to buy China time to consolidate its power. The dispute centers around the Spratly and Paracel Islands. The country claims a huge swathe of the South China Sea.

Vietnam and the USA have grown increasingly close in recent years as both countries fear Chinese ambitions in the South China Sea.

In meetings with Duterte, Trump will reportedly try to win over a leader who has expressed a strong anti-U.S. sentiment.

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