Asia

Duterte opens ASEAN summit with oblique swipe at US, EU

  • 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, April 28, 2017. When Duterte hosts a summit of Southeast Asian leaders this weekend, the spotlight will be on him. Just less than a year in power, Duterte faces a mass murder complaint before the International Criminal Court and an impeachment bid at home as bodies continue to pile up in his war on illegal drugs. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    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, April 28, 2017. When Duterte hosts a summit of Southeast Asian leaders this weekend, the spotlight will be on him. Just less than a year in power, Duterte faces a mass murder complaint before the International Criminal Court and an impeachment bid at home as bodies continue to pile up in his war on illegal drugs. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Southeast Asian leaders prepare to link arms as they pose for a family photo following their retreat in the 30th ASEAN Leaders' Summit Saturday, April 29, 2017 in Manila, Philippines. From left, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Southeast Asian leaders prepare to link arms as they pose for a family photo following their retreat in the 30th ASEAN Leaders' Summit Saturday, April 29, 2017 in Manila, Philippines. From left, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Southeast Asian leaders pose for a family photo following their retreat in the 30th ASEAN Leaders' Summit Saturday, April 29, 2017 in Manila, Philippines. From left, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Southeast Asian leaders pose for a family photo following their retreat in the 30th ASEAN Leaders' Summit Saturday, April 29, 2017 in Manila, Philippines. From left, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has opened an annual summit of Southeast Asian leaders with an oblique swipe at Western governments that have raised alarm over his brutal anti-drug crackdown, asking them not to meddle in the affairs of regional countries.

Although couched in diplomatic tone, Duterte's remarks Saturday at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Manila reflect his combative character.

He cited the need for the 10-nation bloc to address security issues, including terrorism and piracy, but made no mention of the touchy South China Sea territorial rifts, which China did not want highlighted in the talks.

The disputes, along with alarm over North Korea's standoff with the United States, were grabbing attention away from the more benign topics of regional economic integration at the meetings.