Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, in a meeting this week with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, brought up the thorny issue of a 2016 arbitration award favoring his country in a territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea, senior Philippine officials said Saturday.

At the Thursday meeting in Beijing, Xi simply reiterated Beijing's position of not recognizing the ruling by the U.N.-backed court in The Hague that invalidated China's sweeping claims over almost the entire South China Sea, according to the officials who attended the meeting.

"We brought out our position, and they also brought out theirs. And that was it," Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said of the two leaders' exchanges about the matter at the Great Hall of the People.