BEIJING/BRUSSELS - China may build mobile nuclear power plants in the South China Sea, state media reported on Friday, days after an international tribunal dismissed Beijing's vast claims in the strategically vital waters.

"Marine nuclear power platform construction will be used to support China's effective control in the South China Sea," the website of the state-run Global Times cited the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) as saying on a social media account.

The Philippines will concede nothing to China after an international tribunal outlawed Beijing's claims to most of the South China Sea, a Filipino official said Friday.

The UN-backed tribunal ruled against China this week but Beijing rejected the decision, warning of a "decisive response" to provocative actions against its security interests based on the verdict.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said late Thursday he would send former president Fidel Ramos to China to start talks on the ruling of The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration.

The Global Times cited the report as saying that "marine nuclear power platforms will be used" in the islands and reefs of the Spratly chain in the contested sea "to ensure freshwater". The original report was deleted from CNNC's account on social media platform WeChat on Friday, and a staffer at the firm told AFP that it "needed to confirm" its accuracy.

"In the past, the freshwater provision to troops stationed in the South China Sea could not be guaranteed, and could only be provided by boats delivering barrels of water," the Global Times cited the report as saying.

"In the future, as the South China Sea electricity and power system is strengthened, China will speed up the commercial development of the South China Sea region," it added. The EU urged China and the Philippines to settle peacefully their dispute over the South China Sea but stopped short of pushing Beijing to abide by an international tribunal's ruling against Beijing's claims.

The watered-down statement, which came after days of arguments among member states, did not follow the lead of the United States in specifically calling on China to honour the decision by the UN-backed tribunal in The Hague. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement that the bloc's member states "acknowledge" the ruling but said the EU does not take a position on sovereignty rows.

She added that the union "expresses the need for the parties to the dispute to resolve it through peaceful means, to clarify their claims and pursue them in respect and in accordance with international law."

"The EU calls upon the parties concerned to address remaining and further related issues through negotiations and other peaceful means and refrain from activities likely to raise tensions," Mogherini said.

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

"Two member states (Croatia, Slovenia) have a principle problem with arbitration judgements," an EU diplomat told journalists on condition of anonymity.

"It is a difficult balancing act. We have a legal position, but on the other hand we need China for a whole bunch of other topics," the diplomat said before the statement was agreed.

Meanwhile, the commanders of the US and Chinese navies will meet amid mounting tensions over China's claims to much of the South China Sea, the US Navy said Thursday.

Admiral John Richardson, chief of US naval operations, will conduct a three-day visit beginning Sunday, stopping in Beijing and the coastal city of Qingdao, and will meet with his Chinese counterpart Wu Shengli.

Beijing was incensed by the ruling of an international tribunal Tuesday which invalidated China's claims to the strategic waterway and promised a "decisive response" to any "provocative action" in the region.

The United States, which has the largest navy in the world, maintains a permanent presence of military vessels in the region.

Since last year it has also conducted three "freedom of navigation" patrols in the region, sending war ships within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands built by Beijing in the South China Sea to signal that Washington does not accept China's territorial claims.

Beijing has asserted claims to as much as 90 percent of the South China Sea, infuriating regional neighbors such as the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam.

American officials have repeatedly complained of the "dangerous" conduct of Chinese aircraft, which have buzzed American planes in the region.

But despite rising tensions, American and Chinese sailors have maintained navy-to-navy relations, seeking to minimize the risk of any misunderstandings.

China has been invited to participate in this year's Rim of the Pacific naval exercises, currently being conducted between Hawaii and California.