MANILA, PHILIPPINES —
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has told China's ambassador that he will not immediately press Beijing to comply with an international tribunal's ruling that invalidated Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea, but will do so in the future.
Duterte made the comments in a speech Monday marking Philippine heroes' day that was attended by Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua and other diplomats. Zhao just smiled in response.
China avoids discussion of its territorial disputes in the presence of other governments.
Duterte said pressing China to comply now might result in the suspension of talks between the two countries, which would not be good.
The tribunal ruled in July that China's extensive claims are invalid under a 1982 U.N. treaty, in a major setback for Beijing, which has ignored the decision.