November 8, 2017 / 8:54 AM / a year ago

Philippines' Duterte to raise sea dispute with China at Asia-Pacific summit

FILE PHOTO - Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte gestures during Change of Command ceremonies of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, metro Manila, Philippines October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Dondi Tawatao

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said he planned to raise the issue of conflicting claims in the South China Sea at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Vietnam, and ask China its real intentions.

He added that it was time for Manila to clarify with Beijing if Southeast Asian countries were allowed to freely navigate the disputed strategic waterway through which about $3 trillion in trade passes every year.

“So it’s about time, either in the bilateral or in the plenary, I should be bringing this important matter to the surface,” Duterte told a news conference prior to his departure for Vietnam’s central city of Danang, the site of the meeting.

Reporting by Manuel Mogato; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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