US President Barack Obama has cancelled what would have been his first meeting with Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte, after Duterte described Obama as a "son of a bitch".
Duterte, a plain-spoken populist known for his colourful remarks and his campaign against illegal drugs in which thousands of people have died, used the term in front of reporters on Monday, a day ahead of the planned meeting in Laos, where Southeast Asian leaders are meeting for annual summits.
Obama learned about the insult as he emerged from the Group of 20 summit in Hangzhou, China. At a news conference, he said he had told his aides to speak with Philippine officials "to find out is this, in fact, a time where we can have some constructive, productive conversations", signalling clearly that the meeting would not proceed as planned.
"I always want to make sure that if I'm having a meeting, that it's actually productive and we're getting something done," Obama told reporters.
Instead, Obama now plans to meet South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Tuesday, said Ned Price, spokesman for the White House National Security Council - a meeting where the response to North Korea's latest missile tests is expected to be on the agenda.
Obama arrived in Vientiane just before midnight on Monday, for the first visit by a sitting US president to Laos, where he wants to begin to address the legacy of US bombing during the Vietnam War.
The White House had earlier said Obama did not plan to pull any punches on his concerns about human rights abuses in the Philippines, its treaty ally, when meeting Duterte.
Duterte won the presidency in May as he promised to suppress crime and wipe out drugs and drug dealers. At least 2400 people have been killed since he took office on July 1, including 900 in police operations against drug pushers.