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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte defends taking 'power naps' at summit

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India,China,trade deal

It's now in their hands.

The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have conflicting claims with China in parts of the South China Sea.

Territorial disputes in the South China Sea, where Beijing has stepped up its military deployment in recent years, is one of the main agenda items at the Asean-China meeting, especially in the light of the close encounters between Chinese and United States naval vessels.

"Everything's been excellent between China and the rest of Asean, except for the fact that there's friction between Western nations and China", he said as he headed into the summit.

"I do not mind everybody going to war, except that the Philippines is just beside those islands".

Li recalled that China and Singapore established an all-round cooperative partnership progressing with the times when Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to the Southeast Asian country in 2015.

Mattis, meanwhile, made it clear during his visit to Singapore on November 9 that Washington will continue, "to fly, sail and operate wherever worldwide law allows and our national interests demand", and declared the U.S. "cannot accept the [China's] militarization of the South China Sea or any coercion in this region".

Duterte was asked by reporters about the expected Code of Conduct (COC) for the South China Sea, which Beijing expects to be completed within three years. I will try my best. "I don't eat breakfast and I'm sure you ladies know that", he said.

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"That's a reality and America and everybody should realize that they are there. If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong", he added.

Duterte, 73, needed to catch up on his sleep, spokesman Salvador Panelo said, according to Sky News.

On Thursday, he said a war in the disputed waters would put the Philippines in danger.

But on Wednesday, the mercurial leader missed four of the eleven meetings he was slated to attend, as well as a gala dinner hosted by Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Leaders from Southeast Asia, China and other neighboring countries met in Singapore on Wednesday and cited progress on keeping peace in the contentious South China Sea as evidence that the region is managing to handle such issues on its own.

"With the President's pragmatic, transparent and diplomatic orientation in his foreign policies, our country's designation will significantly play a pivotal role in bridging a more solid partnership between Asean and China, particularly as both commit to the expeditious conclusion of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea that is agreeable to all parties concerned", he added.

Last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis urged their Chinese counterparts to halt militarization of the South China Sea, drawing a rebuke from the Chinese for sending US warships close to islands claimed by Beijing.

Duterte has opted to downplay the Philippines' maritime dispute with China in pursuit of improved economic ties with the world's second-largest economy. The President has denied this, saying he would not give up a single inch of Philippine territory.

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