After the Asean meeting, China's foreign minister had called out "some countries" who voiced concern over island reclamation. "We want to find a balance in the statements".
China's territorial disputes in the strategic and potentially oil- and gas-rich waterway with Taiwan and ASEAN member states Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam intensified after Beijing built islands in the disputed waters in recent years and reportedly started to install a missile defense system on them, alarming rival claimant states as well as the USA and other Western governments.
The President's call for a secure region came as government troops continued to battle Islamic State-linked Maute terrorists in Marawi City in Mindanao.
He said China had long finished its land reclamation project.
Wick Veloso, HSBC president and CEO for the Philippines, said: "The relations between China and the Philippines allow us to play an important part in the Belt and Road Initiative through infrastructure funding and technical support".
Since assuming the presidency, Duterte has opted to lessen dependence on the United States, a treaty ally, partly fueled by Washington's criticism of his controversial campaign against illegal drugs. However, some countries dependent on Beijing's aid and investments have been reluctant to push back.
In response, Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Allan Peter Cayetano also told ASEAN journalists that China is playing a very positive role in the region because China's growing economy has fuelled the tourism industry in Southeast Asia.
In a joint statement issued by Asean leaders on May 1, they said the escalating tensions between the U.S. and the North Korea "can affect the peace and stability in the entire region".
"Prosperity should not be the right of just a chosen few".
"It must be a blessing enjoyed by all", the President said, as he stressed the importance of the Asean principles of non-interference and decision-making through consultation and consensus.
"China-Asean ties have become one of the most vigorous and enriched dialogue partnerships of Asean", Xi Jinping added.
He then pushed for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade agreement backed by China, and qualified that the TPP, a regional trade pact involving Pacific Rim countries but excluding China, was "a dream that was no longer there".
"You can take a look at the joint statement issued... and you can draw your own conclusions", Wang said, as quoted by South China Morning Post.
" Asean has a bigger stake than any part of the world in standing up against protectionism and securing the rules of the game in the worldwide trade", he told delegates.
ASEAN further said that the larger vision of the member nations should be to ensure sustainable economic growth.