Trump gets Philippines president Duterte to sing on stage

In a joint news conference, Quang said he had "shared my thoughts with (Trump) on the recent developments in this area and it is our policy to settle disputes in the South China Sea through peaceful negotiations, and with respect for diplomatic and legal process in accordance with global law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea".

"We have to be friends, the other hotheads would like us to confront China and the rest of the world on so many issues", Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in the Philippines capital, Manila, on Sunday.

While China is frustrated with the intractable nuclear standoff, the United States focus on it does afford China "a lot of strategic opportunities", Harry Kazianis, director of Defense Studies at the Center for the National Interest told CNN ahead of Trump's Asia trip. Both Trump and Xi were following on from the latest APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit that concluded Saturday in the coastal city of Danang, 470 miles (750 kilometers) south of Hanoi. He added that he is "a very good mediator and arbitrator".

"The South China Sea is better left untouched, nobody can afford to go to war".

"If I can help mediate or arbitrate, please let me know", Mr Trump said.

The controversial issue was also understood to have figured in a meeting of officials from India, the US, Japan, and Australia under the proposed Quadrilateral coalition of the four countries.

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Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have conflicting claims there.

"As the American people and peoples of the world condemned US president Trump for its war-mongering and outright repression in the US, Duterte is inevitable to follow, as the number of poor Filipinos fed up of his empty promises and pointless rhetorics, are mounting, it is a matter of time for him to follow the footsteps of his idol dictator and ousted Ferdinand Marcos", Casilao said.

Philippines President Duterte recommended avoiding confrontation and leaving the situation in the disputed South China Sea "untouched". The South China Sea will likely be a hot topic throughout the summit, as most claimants will be attending.

The framework seeks to advance a 2002 Declaration of Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea.

Ahead of the annual summit of the ASEAN, an influential grouping of 10 South East Asian countries, a number of diplomats said the thorny issue of China's aggressive military buildup in the South China Sea may be one of the focus areas of the deliberations on Tuesday.

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