Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says he expects talks with China on a long-simmering territorial dispute to start possibly this year, and urged Beijing to allow Filipinos to fish at a disputed shoal.

Duterte told reporters Tuesday that he prefers to engage China in a diplomatic dialogue rather than take a more aggressive stance that could anger Chinese officials into calling off possible talks.

An international arbitration tribunal ruled last month that China's massive territorial claims in the South China Sea based on historical grounds were invalid based on a 1982 U.N. treaty. China has ignored the ruling, which was based on a Philippine complaint, but Duterte has not pressed for Beijing to comply and does not plan to raise the decision at a Southeast Asian summit next month.