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The Future of Asia 2019

Duterte presses Xi to fast-track South China Sea rules

Philippine leader vents frustration over 'flashpoint' during speech in Tokyo

Philippine President  Rodrigo Duterte goes off script in his speech at Nikkei's Future of Asia conference in Tokyo on May 31. (Photo by Yuki Nakao)

TOKYO -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday called on Chinese President Xi Jinping to hammer out a code of conduct for the South China Sea, warning the disputed waterway is increasingly becoming a potential "flashpoint" for conflict.

Duterte went off script in a speech at Nikkei's Future of Asia conference to vent frustration over tensions in the sea. Beijing claims large portions of waters that the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam insist are rightfully theirs.

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