Regional Political Tensions: ASEAN Divided in South China Sea Case'

Malacañang also on Friday said it will explore other diplomatic channels to finally put to rest the sea dispute with China, in case Ramos turns down an "offer" for him to be the country's envoy for such mission.

"The Philippines strongly affirms its respect for this milestone decision as an important contribution to the ongoing efforts in addressing disputes in the SCS", he told the summit.

The statement came after days of wrangling over wording as eastern European Union countries, including Slovenia and Croatia which also have territorial disputes before the tribunal, diplomats said.

Lu slammed Bishop for her "irresponsible statements", after she said that the arbitral court ruling was final and legally binding on China.

Laos is the current chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and it will be hosting a key security meeting later this month, at which the South China Sea is likely to dominate the talks.

Lu said China had formally protested Australia's "wrong remarks", and China hopes Australia will not harm regional peace and stability.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration this week ruled China had no legal basis to its 1947 "nine-dash line" claim in the sea, which is rich in energy, mineral and fishing resources.

China has rejected this week's ruling by the permanent court of arbitration in The Hague that it has no historical title over the South China Sea and that it has violated the Philippines' economic and sovereign rights.

Australian foreign minister Julia Bishop has warned China's reputation and ambitions of becoming a world leader will suffer if it ignores the worldwide court ruling.

Even just raising the issue at the two-day summit starting on Friday will anger China, which has long bridled at Philippine efforts to have the dispute discussed at multilateral events.

"But since certain countries commented on the issue, it is thus necessary for China to come out to clarify its stance and spell out the truth", he said.

"We value the award given by the (tribunal), and the Philippines will not concede any of the awards given to us".

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop urged all South China Sea claimants to resolve their disputes peacefully, saying Canberra would keep exercising its global rights to freedom of navigation and overflight, and support the right of others to do the same.

"War is not an option".

Immediately after the ruling, the normally brash and outspoken Duterte privately told his ministers to be magnanimous and not to pique Beijing, according to one minister.

However, the ambassador added that Beijing was committed to negotiate with other parties regarding the South China Sea issues.

In April, Washington announced that USA troops and military equipment would be sent on regular rotations in the Philippines and that the two countries had started joint patrols in the South China Sea.

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