MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines' top diplomat says his country won't raise its recent international arbitration victory against China's territorial claims in the South China Sea during Asian summit talks that Manila will host this year.
Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said Wednesday that pressing last year's arbitration ruling during the annual meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations "is just simply counter-productive for our purposes."
Yasay said the Philippines intends to raise the ruling, which invalidated China's historic claims under a U.N. treaty, in bilateral talks with Beijing in the future.
The Philippines is hosting the ASEAN meetings this year. President Rodrigo Duterte has taken steps to mend strained relations with China while taking an antagonistic stance toward the administration of outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama.