Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte sees no point in Asean leaders addressing the South China Sea row at meetings this week. Photo: Reuters
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is creating a new class of oligarchs in the Philippines. Image: Agencies

Speaking to reporters at the Philippine presidential palace, President Duterte brushed off the idea that leaders discuss China’s contentious activities in the South China Sea, reports Channel News Asia. The comments come as the country hosts Southeast Asian leaders for the Asean summit this week.

“Who will dare pressure? Who can pressure China? Us?” Duterte asked rhetorically.

A draft of the Asean chairman’s statement revealed that the bloc will exclude references to militarization or island-building, taking a softer tone than previous statements.