Duterte said the Philippines and its fellow members in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will have to eventually confront China on the bitter sea dispute, saying Beijing must “make clear to us what China really wants.”

The President said this ahead of two key regional summits of leaders in the Asia-Pacific region, where vital issues such as trade and security will be discussed.

“I suppose that I’d bring [up] the matter (sea dispute) because while we were focused on the dangers of North Korea, regarding its sabre-rattling and lahat doon nakatingin. And I do not take it against China,” Duterte told reporters before leaving for Vietnam to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.

“[China] has claimed every part of it and nobody stopped him. So tanungin ko lang siya, ‘What are the stakes? You want to control the passage or do we have the free passage?’” he added.

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