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Prez Duterte heads opening ceremony of 31st ASEAN Summit

FILE PHOTO – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during the APEC CEO Summit, taking place ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders summit in the central Vietnamese city of Danang November 9, 2017. REUTERS/Hoang Dinh Nam/Pool

The 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit officially opened on November 13.

The world leaders attending the summits are expected to discuss issues regarding politics, security, economy, society, and culture.

President Rodrigo Duterte led the opening ceremony as chairman of ASEAN for 2017.

The year’s summit coincides with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN.

Meanwhile, during his speech on Sunday, November 12, at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit, Duterte said that will be better not to raise the territorial dispute in the South China Sea with China.

Duterte said he does not want to provoke China over the issue since the Philippines cannot afford to go to war with China.

“Today, China is a number one economic power, and we have to be friends.” Duterte said. “The other hotheads would like us to confront China and the rest of the world for so many issues. The South China Sea is better left untouched. Nobody can afford to go to war.”

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