Take a breath. Tough-talking Philippine president-elect Rodrigo Duterte is unlikely to ride a jet ski to plant a flag on a China-held island, as he promised in a stump speech.

He is more likely to seek talks with Beijing and a freezing of the disputes, putting the disagreements on ice.

"I would say to China, do not claim anything here — and I will not insist also that it is ours," he told reporters as the votes were counted in Monday's presidential poll.